I hardly get how to use them, but you can track matches and compare stats with the Guardian’s new Interactive Chalkboards feature. Right now it’s all about Premier League, but I can only imagine they’ll have the same movable data display available for World Cup 2010, too.
Football management newbies like myself should check out the FAQ here.
enter 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.
source site 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.”
rencontre à wicker park 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.
j'ai rencontre un garcon il m'a un peu tourner la tete 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.
source url 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.
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.
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.
OK, the Liverpool/Villa game didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. And my “boy” Brad Friedel … well it’s hard to make the argument any more that he’s the best goalkeeper in the EPL after a 5-0 drubbing. But I did find it interesting to see, after he got sent off with red, that Aston Villa’s back-up goalie is also an American … Brad Guzan, who made his EPL debut today with an unsuccessful attempt to block the penalty kick he inherited from Friedel. Hopefully Villa’s understudy has learned a bunch of stuff from Friedel before he started sucking.
Guzan is also a Chicago Polack … so that makes me like him even more.
UPDATE: Of course, he’s a Chivas USA guy! The 24-year-old, in fact, was the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year … and super-beloved by the fans.
Of course I’d love to be able to claim such success making these picks on the Premier League … but I just don’t know the teams well enough. And though, as strange as this may seem, I’ve never made a bet in a casino sports book … I’ve been having a hankering to bet me some soccer. So I’ve started making some practice picks, to see how I would do as I get up the nerve to lay down some real money on the games.
Frankly, I’m not 100 percent sure I’ve even got a complete understanding of how the wagers work. But in my little soccer betting world, I made a pretend $100 wager on each game — either the amount it would take to win $100, or $100 to win more.
Came across a good soccer podcast — EPLTalk.com. The episode below is more than a year old, but total Football geeks like Sang will find it either intriguingly prescient or at least worthy of vitriolic disagreement and thoughts of riot. The guest is none other than Oliver Tse (a pal of mine from the poker-biz). I had almost forgotten that Oliver, creator of the now-defunct SoccerTV.com, has been following soccer on TV (the business of it, not so much the actual kicking) since the mid-90s (when internet communications were limited to email and usenet groups).
The history of soccer on TV, specifically American TV
The appearance of Budweiser’s Chinese language ads at Old Trafford
The importance of the American audience for Mexican soccer
The increasing proliferation of video game tournaments on TV
EPL’s efforts to reach Asia
World Cup rights fees in America (exceeding those of the rest of the world)
Prediction: HD soccer broadcasts coming Christmas 2008? (Maybe 2009)
The Brazilian soccer channel
Argentine/Paraguayan/Venezuelan soccer on TV
Damn, that’s a lot of good background info (and data for forward thinkers). And though Soccerati’s new readers may not care, I know any Pokerati tagalongs will find it fascinating that Tse was one of 60 who vote for US Soccer Player of the Year.
My favorite bottom-of-the-barrel Premiership team, Wigan, has survived relegation … but their manager, Paul Jewell, has said he’s had enough and will be taking a break from football.
Interestingly enough, it was the Wigan loss against Arsenal — whereupon he mouthed off Mark Cuban-style about the ref — that really got me into the game … and appreciating the beauty of the threat of relegation! Paul Jewell may be gone, but here at Soccerati, he will not be forgotten.