The Weekly Dump – February 16th

S.I. Bodypainted WAGS

Soccer WAGs in bodypaint – The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has an iconic reputation even if it’s lost some of it’s gleam with the every day stylings of PG-13 mags like Maxim, FHM, etc but it’s worth a look. Even more so now that they’ve thrown in four of the finest WAGs covered in nothing but bodypaint. Go ahead and check them out, I’ll be here when you return.

“I was just trying to help the payroll!” – Seems ManU supporter Adam Teese has fine aim from the stands as he winged Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy with a coin from the stands. Teese was arrested and continued the streak of nasty business during the derby.

When all else fails, blame the press – First Chelsea go out and smoke Arsenal on the pitch then Wenger took a few shots at the boys in Blue with “They make the foul at the right time when they are caught on the counter-attack, the little push with the shirt. It is not enough to get a yellow card.” Michael Ballack took exception and gave a little back to the Arsenal manager. In the end, Wenger just blames it all on the press.

“You did that at Villa, you did that at Chelsea,” Wenger continued. “If you look at the intent of my press conference it was positive to the opponent. If you want, we can have a press conference and I can say nothing, don’t worry.”

Bad break for the EPL leaders – Chelsea followed up their big win over Chelsea by letting Everton pick up 3 points later in the week. The biggest hit to the table leaders is the loss of Ashley Cole with a broken ankle. He’ll likely be out for 3 months and will make it more interesting to see if Wayne Bridge gets a call to the national team. Though Ancelotti does hope Cole will be ready. Incidentally, Cole’s injury was sustained in a clash with Mr. Landycakes.

Broken ankle not Cole’s only problem – Ashley Cole’s broken ankle will now give him plenty of time to deal with the problem of watching his wife split for the States without the jewels of matrimony. What the hell is in the water at Stamford Bridge?

Footballers find something to be shy about – It’s not uncommon to see/hear some nasty things around various soccer venues especially in the deep heart of the continent. There are still some crazy stories about racial abuse even in these “enlightened” times. Even with these random problems they seem to be making some progress. Racial issues are easy compared to someone asking top footballers to help stamp out homophobia. Big strong men afraid of catching a little grief from opposing supporters.

“Everybody assumes footballers are full of confidence, but it is not easy on issues like this. Remember there was a time when even black players did not feel they could talk about race.”

Welcome to 2010 gentlemen.

The Weekly Dump – February 8th

John Terry - Father of the Year

John Terry – Father of the Year

I’ve spent a few of these weekly link dumps to have a little fun at the expense of the Scousers and Gooners and anyone else worthy of a pop, so I suppose I should be an equal opportunity jerk and take a shot at my boy John Terry. Chelsea stalwart, former English captain, and all around fine fellow. Until.

Terry sets precedent – Rumors had been widely circulated that Chelsea tough guy John Terry had been spending some quality horizontal time with the lady friend of former mate Wayne Bridge. The British court system was heavily weighted against the press up until last week when they were given permission to document the details. Now it is the biggest sporting sex scandal since Tiger Woods showed up at a random Hooters.

Terry sacked as English captain – No real surprise here as the entire nation was calling for his head. Just to keep things interesting with actual football, Fabio Capello named Rio Ferdinand as the replacement.

Naturally the Archbishop of Canterbury had his say“Clearly, a lot of people think there isn’t a problem there and that’s a pity because adultery is adultery. It’s a shame that we lost that sense that faithfulness matters. I’d like to see it back.”

John Terry named Father of the Year – That’s right, after spending an entire week splashed across every rag in the nation for schtupping a former friends chippy (at least her, probably more) someone had to bring up his Father of the Year award.

Terry leads Chelsea over Arsenal – Like any hard headed footballer, he then went out to anchor the Blues in a solid display to crush the final hopes The Gooners had of winning the league this year. Even after Samir Nasri claimed they would not be intimidated by Chelsea. All’s well that ends well.

“Physical strength is very important, but if we are able to compensate for this deficiency through our technique, like Barcelona, I can’t see where the problem is. Look at Xavi and Andres Iniesta, they are not physical monsters.”

Liverpool looking to for £100 million by the summer – Never a dull moment around Liverpool even after squeaking by Everton this weekend. The owners are now looking for a £100 million cash injection or they might sell the club. Liverpool supporters may have a tough decision whether to hope for the cash or pray the American owners crawl back to the states. They are also looking for investors to help with the process of building a new stadium so they can move out of Anfield.

The Weekly Dump – January 25th

Larne captain Liam Hogan meets Darren King

God bless the Irish – Once I read Unprofessional Foul there was no doubt what would lead the link dump. Irish sides Newry City and Larne met up in something called the Irish Cup which I assume is their version of the FA Cup. Here’s what I can tell from searching the news sites. Things were going along fine until the 80th minute when Larne captain Liam Hogan committed felonious assault on Darren King (pictured above). After that all damned hell broke loose. Punches, kicks and everyone sent home.  My favorite group of pictures were presented by the BBC, insanity.

Editorial comment: Soccer players fight like little school girls.

Should have paid the electric instead – Real Madrid were paid €2,000,000 for a trip to Albania (Elbonia?) to play a friendly against Gramozi, a newly promoted side who borrowed players from other teams for a little boost. Then the stadium lights went out. Things were thrown, curses cursed, and somebody got sacked. Eventually Real Madrid won the match and got the hell out of Dodge.

Captain Raul was the only Real player to stay for the presentation of a cup, before leaving in a hurry surrounded by bodyguards.

Personalized stab-proof vests in time for the World Cup – This summer’s World Cup will see ~500,000 fans heads to South Africa where they are averaging 50 murders per day and more than 50% of them via knife/shank/sharpened nail clipper (reference TSA procedures). Now local crime lords promise to boost up the mayhem quotient. It makes perfect sense a company would now offer stab-proof vests for those making the trip and kind enough to give supporters the chance to order a vest with their national flag.  World Cup officials are pissed at everyone.  Customized personal protection equipment will be all the rage. (h/t Wicked Chops Poker)

Nine men, No problem – The top fixture in Serie A was the derby between AC Milan and Inter who were 7 points clear before the match. Inter scored their first goal early and then played much of the match with 10 men when Wesley Sneijder was sent off in the 27th minute. An injury time dismissal was enough to grab the 9-man headline then Secreteriat-like Ronaldinho has a penalty attempt rejected. I do think the reporter by have blown the size of this match out of proportion.

During a build-up which had involved more tactics than any game of football, Sneijder and Alessandro Nesta were both set to miss an eagerly-anticipated Milan derby.

Stoke City gun down the Gooners – Winner for worst EPL headline. Stoke City took points from Liverpool last week and this time around they knock Arsenal from the FA Cup. Wenger fielded a fairly weak side after the mid-week clash with Bolton but he’ll have some questions to answer. Who’s left in the FA Cup besides Chelsea and Coca Cola pretenders? Manchester United and Arsenal are now tied atop the leaderboard with the mighty Chelsea (KTBFFH) but they have two games in hand on ManU and one on the Arse.

Becks gets groped – I have no idea how to explain the video below. I cannot speak a lick of Italian but I believe the lass spends a few minutes talking about David Beckham’s junk and then goes on a sneak attack. You have to struggle through the first few minutes of yapping and close ups on his manhood but the two minute mark gets entertaining.

The Weekly Dump – January 18th

Kop in bloom

The Kop during happier times (Andy Teebay/Propaganda)

“Blow me f*** face” says Liverpool to a supporter – It may seem I like to bag on those lovable Scousers because it’s true. I had a rough time picking a lead story for the link dump but I think this short yet descriptive email from Tom Hicks Jr to a Liverpool supporter is a fine start. The next obvious step was Hicks resigning from the Liverpool Board of Directors.

How did the rest of the week go for Liverpool?

Crashed out of the FA Cup to powerhouse Reading.
– While losing to Reading, Torres and Gerrard go down with severe injuries.
Give up a last minute goal to draw with Stoke City.
Ryan Babel twitters his unhappiness with Rafael Benitez.
Benitez then apologies for the team being crap.
– And the final nut kick, stories of Steven Gerrard ready to leave Anfield.

Glazers take £20m out of Manchester United – Continuing the EPL trend of Liverpool and Portsmouth, reports are now coming out about just how deep the historic club is buried in debt. It is so bad they might consider selling Old Trafford (and leasing it back). At least they have their FA Cup money to help out. Nevermind. The Daily Mail has a good rundown of the situation.

Meanwhile ManU supporters think Sir Alex should quit – They mean it as a way of protest. It seems a perfectly reasonable, non-knee jerk response and certainly much better than the standard French response of “Go on strike. Again.”

Chelsea score a touchdown – The American Football version, hanging 7 goals on hapless Sunderland despite missing Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou to the Africa Cup of Nations. Not all is happy at Stamford Bridge though as Michael Essien has a knee injury forcing him from African and club competitions.

Shorthanded Arsenal can catch Chelsea – The Gooners have a chance to tie Chelsea atop the leaderboard with a midweek match against Bolton but will be making their second half run without 9 first team players including Robin van Persie and Johan Djourou who are lost for the year.

Thierry Henry to meet with FIFA – Noted French cheat (not mutually exclusive) Thierry Henry will finally meet with the FIFA disciplinary committee concerning his handball in World Cup qualifying. I’m not sure what they can actually do other than a typical sternly worded slap on the wrist at which point the French national will surely lay down his weapons and form an underground. None of this makes a difference to the Irish side which was cheated out of a spot in the 2010 World Cup.

The Old Man Returneth

sol-campbell_soccerati

Yup, Sol Campbell, the guy who dropped Notts County faster than NBC dropped that awesome idea to have Leno on at 10pm , officially returned to Arsenal on Tuesday, the club that he called home from 2001-2006. Apparently, Campbell will play a few games with the reserves before Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger decides if the former England national is ready for the big, grassy stage.

In other news, Arsenal’s reserve team defeated West Ham’s backups 2-0 today.

Is Wigan the New Aston Villa?

That’s what I was thinking while watching the replay of Arsenal vs. Wigan, with the Latics ahead of the Gooners 1-0 … but then they just missed a virtually open-goal opportunity at the start of the second half, and from there it was all downhill. Arsenal snuck one in to tie — looked offsides to me, but no one save for the Wigan defenders even raised a stink about it — and then another goal, and another, and another: total collapse.

Crap. I’ve always liked Wigan, too … was so ready to sell out my beloved Aston Villa to jump back on the Wigan bandwagon … but with them not only losing to Arsenal but getting crushed by them and failing to hold it together when it all really counted … I wondered … well actually, I realized my original hedline still applied.

Liverpool vs. Aston Villa = Sang vs. Dan

Big game tomorrow … Liverpool really needs to win, and can move within a point of Man U … Villa has been struggling of late, and with an Arsenal victory today, needs to pull of the whole 3 points to say, hey, we still belong in the top 4.

If they can do it, I might change my name to OMGBradFriedel.