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.

My Sturridge Don’t Cost A Thing…Or 7M

soccerati-daniel-sturridge

So, looks like Daniel Sturridge may cost Chelsea a pretty British Pound. The Professional Football Compensation Committee ruled that the east Londoners owe Manchester City 3.5M for the July 2009 transfer and that number could balloon up to 7M if Sturridge reaches certain milestones.

Apparently, the two sides failed to reach an amount on an initial fee, and, as a result of Sturridge’s age, City is now due compensation.

That makes sense…

“If they want their son to be a professional footballer, they send him out to the street.”

Soccerati’s own Sangyfarha on why Club America fans mean more to US Soccer than American Chelsea fans:

Soccer Weather and the Future of Football Stadiums

It started out as a beautiful day, but by halftime the lightning was cracking and the rain coming down … (kinda like the Chelsea vs. Club America game was going, actually). The extra-wet smoke-break at Cowboys stafium gives Sangyfarha a chance to analyze how weather plays into the 21st Century version of the beautiful game. Guess what – not only will the World Cup be looking at monster American football stadiums like these, but so will the European football leagues, Sang says.

Anti-Chelsea Postgame at The Lodge

Where better to celebrate a victory drown your sorrows than at a tiddie bar filled with fans of the team you were unsuccessfully rooting against? Add multiple vodka tonics and a penchant for violence and you’ve got a winner … but not before a Chelsea fan tries to make nice by offering up his Samsung blue in exchange for Sangyfarha’s red. Fortunately a drunken Syrian steps in to broker the peace.

A poetic statement on football’s international diversity and an American trying to come to grips with riot mentality and a conflicting desire for women in 8-inch heels.

World Football Challenge: Chelsea Win=Bad for Soccer?

Sangyfarha y yo went to the Club America/Chelsea match at the new Cowboys Stadium last week, and for Sang it wasn’t just an international friendly, it was a backwards step for the future of American soccer.

Though surely this has nothing to do with his recent move a week earlier from Addison to South Dallas … in the final minutes of Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Club America, Sang sees a victory that may energize the suburban base, but still doesn’t resonate with the all-important urban demographic that will be necessary for soccer to really take root as a major-major sport in the USA:

Mutu Bufu’d

Sa ma ia dracu
Sa ma ia dracu

I cannot in any legal sense get my head around this.   In 2003, Chelsea uses it’s newly printed oil mafia cash to overpay Parma for the rights to Adrian Mutu.  Mutu plays for a year, gets caught doing blow, and is suspended for 7 months.  Chelsea decides to terminate his contract, escaping having to pay his wages during the suspension by firing him “for cause.”  So far, I get it.

Chelsea then sues Mutu (through the various sport arbitrators) to try and recover the amount that it didn’t earn by reselling Mutu in the transfer market, and WINS, to the tune of over $24 million dollars.  Wha?  So many problems with this:

1. Where’d they get that figure? It is unfair to assess his market value based upon the inflated amount Chelsea paid, and he certainly didn’t live up to the valuation in his year at the Bridge.  Plus, the rumors of drug use had been confirmed by the suspension, which hardly increases a player’s value.

2. Chelsea didn’t have to terminate his contract and make him a free agent.  I understand why they did, and they benefited financially by not having to pay Mutu during his suspension; further, they gained by not paying his wages for the term of the contract that, cynically, he wasn’t worth.  But again, they CHOSE to forfeit their rights to Mutu rather than try and sell him, even for pennies on the dollar.  In any legitimate tribunal, Mutu is at least entitled to an offset for what they might have been able to get for him, and this is a sum that can be gleaned by looking at Mutu’s subsequent transfer history.

3. This is dangerous precedent.  Mutu was terminated for violating his contract, and has to pay what he would be worth if the club had sold him.  That figure was determined entirely by looking at what Chelsea paid for him.  Isn’t this a way for clubs that spend silly money overpaying for players just to make a splash to get out from under their own stupidity?  City could have terminated Robinho for going awol last year, and perhaps they’ll consider it moving forward if they could get their 55m back from him.  This is not a frivolous concern.

4. His wife is smoking hot.  Consuelo, Soccerati is here for you if you need anything.

Blame It On the Drogba, Yeah, Yeah!

 

soccerati_luiz-felipe-scolari

Or at least that’s what former Blues coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is doing regarding his sacking from Chelsea. Big Phil feels his demise came about because Didier Drogba, along with Petr Cech and Michael Ballack, failed to show the Brazilian any respect as a head coach.

 

“The people sacked are always the coaches. The main players already know this. That was my problem at Chelsea. Drogba, Ballack and Cech did not accept my training methods or my demands.”

Awwww, does Big Phil need a hug?

European Football (+Mexico) Coming to USA

Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter, and Club America will be playing an exhibition tournament six American cities this July (with several of the games preceded by international friendlies against MLS clubs:

From the NYT:

“It gives us the opportunity to really capitalize on the growing support of the game,” said Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of Chelsea. “It’s utilizing the team — on the back of broadcast — to go and support football development, soccer development, and also allow our fans, who are an ever-growing number, to come and touch the holy grail if you like.”

The teams will play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.; the Georgia Dome in Atlanta; Atlanta’s MT&T Bank Stadium; Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.; Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.; and the new Cowboys Stadium in Texas. All games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as the Spanish-language network, ESPN Deportes, and online at ESPN360.com

Thanks, Steve, for the link.

It’s Go Time

Due to travel restrictions imposed by the UN, Interpol, and the Texas Board of Corrections the Dallas office of Soccerati is prohibited from traveling overseas for the next two years.  So in order to catch all the big games of the Champions League we are forced to watch on the telly.  Luckily for us there is a great bar called the Mini-Bar that is cozy, football friendly, and has an amazing selection of beer.  So with a cast of characters that includes disparate members of the Batfaces, and those I’m convinced are Basques separatists, Soccerati is going through the pain of seeing Liverpool give up an away goal to the Chavs of Chelsea.  That game is still tied, but what is occurring in Barcelona right now to a Bayern side is clearing payback for Guernica and the Condor Legion.  Great second halves to come.