The Weekly Dump – February 1st

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney scored all four goals versus Hull City

Great news, it’s not broken! – Just a nasty hamstring injury that will limit Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. You know your side is in desperate shape with injuries when the headline reads “Avoids Leg Break”. The injury occurred during the match with Aston Villa where the Gooners did their titles hopes no favors with a draw. Then on Sunday they let Manchester United walk all over them 3-1.

In a match shown in wonderous 3D – As if having your EPL title hopes squashed wasn’t bad enough, the feat was shown with the magic of 3D technology. Naturally someone had to throw in an Avatar reference.  We can blame Sky for bringing us Wayne Rooney’s ugly mug in glorious 3D.

Wayne Rooney insists he’s staying with ManU – Any time a player is rolling along like Rooney there is always speculation he’ll be lured away by dreams of magical paydays and the streets of London/Milan/etc. Rooney is shooting down those thoughts.

“There’s always speculation, and when other big teams are talking about you, it’s nice that you’re talked about,” Rooney told Manchester United’s official website. “But as I’ve said many times before, I’m a United player and I’m very happy here.”

Meanwhile, Rooney’s current and former agents are sniping – There seems to be a little £4.3 Million dispute between his agents he was but a young las at Proactive and his current agent, generally about fees on the massive sponsorship deals Rooney has accrued. This little tiff doesn’t seem to be affecting the league goal leader on the pitch as he just might crack the 30-goal barrier for the first time in his career.

Bottom dwelling Hull City draw with Chelsea – And we will speak of this no more. Although the tying goal from Drogba was quite nice.

Charlie Davies setting amazing recovery pace – As Dan mentioned earlier in the week, Charlie Davies was seen playing a little poker around Las Vegas this week. This comes on the heels of a great piece on ESPN about his recovery. After receiving horrific injuries in a car accident just a few months ago, the entire soccer world assumed there was a very slim chance he would be even close to stepping on a pitch let along compete for a spot. He suffered through a broken right femur and tibia, broken left elbow, a lacerated bladder, and facial fractures that required doctors to literally peel his face off to repair. The accident occurred on October 13th and he is already jogging and looking to be back on the field with FC Sochaux by April. If you read just one link this week, this should be your choice.

If Davies can complete his recovery on its new timetable, it will be some welcome good news for a U.S. team that just recently had midfielder Clint Dempsey sidelined by a PCL injury that threatened to jeopardize his World Cup. The U.S. team’s top striker before the accident, Davies brings a combination of speed, strength and finishing ability that no other player in the national team pool can provide, and a healthy Davies would provide a significant boost, both on and off the field.

Togo rewarded for losing members in an attack with expulsion – The most insane news of the week comes out of the bizarre world of African soccer. You would think ahead of the World Cup they would show a little common sense. Everyone knows by now the Togolese bus was ambushed ahead of their appearance in the African Nations Cup losing team members and staff. Understandably the team felt it necessary to return home and forfeit their matches after such a horrible ordeal. The Confederation of African Football responded by banning them from the next two African Nation Cup competitions and fined them $50,000US. I try to leave the punditry to others, but that’s $%^#@#$ insanity.

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 Weekly Dump

Manchester United - Leeds FA Cup

Jermaine Beckford, Leed’s United, celebrates after scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Manchester United crash out of FA Cup – A result that brings joy to a lot of (non-ManU) supporters. Not only did they lose to a third division club, it was the once mighty Leeds who did the deed.

And Sir Alex is pissed,

“The preparation was good but I was shocked at that performance. We didn’t start right and Leeds did. They fought like tigers but you expect that from any team coming to Old Trafford. It’s a disappointment. Human beings can always surprise you but I didn’t expect that. I don’t think any of them can say they had a good day. We never got going and the quality of passing – the whole performance – was bad. Leeds had a far better appetite for the game than us. You need luck and they got it but they deserved it because they played really well.”

Portsmouth again unable to pay their players – This is the third month Pompey players watched their payday go by with nothing to show for it.  The club is facing dire financial times but officials promise the players will be paid.  The Football Association is taking Pompey’s television revenue to pay past debts to other clubs.

News Flash: Liverpool stink, players fault – Joe Speaker’s beloved Scousers are doing their best imitation of an MLS club.  Steven Gerrard blames the players, “We are in this position for a reason and it tells us that we really haven’t been good enough, and the players have to take responsibility for that.”

President of the Iranian Football Federation said “Happy New Year!” to Israel. Then quickly apologized while he still had breath to do so.

The U.S. Men’s National Team kicked off their winter camp and our very own Joe Speaker tell us what to expect.

Finally, it seems Landycakes decided to make a run south of the border to pick up a Mexican Lottery ticket.

Sheringham Gunning for Poker Glory

sheringhamThey’re down to 20 players left in the main event of WSOP-Europe — a £10,000 no-limit hold’em tournament that drew 334 runners — and retired Man U striker Teddy Sheringham is currently sixth in chips.

He’s already in the money, but should he make the final table, then he’s in some real dough.

Click here to follow the action.

1st prize is more than £800,000 … or US$1.3 million.

Tevez to Sir Alex: “You Scurred”

soccerati-da-hasselbaink-ferguson-tevez

That’s right folks, Carlos Tevez claims Manchester United be scurred to play Manchester City.  In a recent interview, the Argentine striker continued his war-of-words against his former squad and, in particular, Man U manager Sir Alex Ferguson:

“Ferguson is history for me but I know that he is scared of playing against us,” Tevez told Globoesporte. “It’s dangerous for Ferguson’s objectives and for him to criticise Manchester City.”

Here’s some more kind words from Willow to A-Ferg:

“[Manchester City manager] Mark Hughes is only focused on his work and the team, he doesn’t get involved in the negotiations,” Willow said. “He has been a football player so there is a big difference in the way he treats each player.”

Everybody Hates Michael Owen

 

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Look yourself in the mirror and say, “I’ve sold exactly as many jerseys in the Man U Megastore as Michael Owen.” Yeah, it’s true. According to an employee, the U’s team store has received exactly ZERO requests for an Owen jersey (in case you don’t know, Owen signed with the squad earlier this month).

If it’s any consolation to the former Liverpool/England national team star, at least he can’t get any less popular with Red Devil fans…right?

It’s a Done Deal

 

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Or it’s a done “world-record setting” deal to be more precise. That’s right, Man U and Real Madrid officially completed the 80 million GBP (how the heck do you make the Pound sign on a computer) transfer of Cristiano “The Bad Guy” Ronaldo from the Red Devils to the Los Blancos.

The done deal comes only days after Real unveiled Kaka as the newest member of Los Merengues (so many nicknames). 

GALACTICOS UNITE!

Maybe This Will Get Sang to Travel to Vegas

What better way to celebrate a record-setting contract than to head to Las Vegas. From social scene reports last night:

Dining on Nove Italiano’s terrace was footballer for the Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo. Accompanied by seven of his closest friends, they were all fashionably clad in Gucci attire. To start, the group shared family-style appetizers. For his main course, Ronaldo enjoyed the carbonara and a 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon. Cannolis were sent out for dessert. After their meal, Ronaldo made his way into the kitchen to sign Executive Chef Geno Bernardo’s famous door. Ronaldo and his friends then headed to Playboy Club.

UEFA Champions League Finals: Unicef vs. AIG

GET 85472143MW027_AIG_CEO_TESTIWatchin’ the game … enjoying it thoroughly. And it just occurred to me that Barcelona vs. Manchester Utd. really is a battle of Good vs. Evil, or at least Rich vs. Poor — something that couldn’t be more clear in the two opposing sponsors, Unicef and AIG.

Here we’ve got Unicef, a major international organization that looks out for the poorest children in the world … vs. AIG, the disgraced American banking behemoth with a corporate mission to repay taxpayers all the money their leaders stole/squandered by making as much money as possible off (the fear of) disaster and catastrophe.

unicef

Man U vs. Aston Villa

It was an amazing game, and I didn’t even get to see it. But I did get to feel the pain with almost none of the pleasure:

(Brad Friedel, do I even know you any more?)

Facebook Game of the Week (for me):

Dan Michalski is wondering when Villa is going to learn to win again.

 Chance Miller at 12:51pm April 5
It seemed like they wanted to win today. And at Old Trafford to boot! Then someone asked- “Are you serious? Do you really think you can win here?” and then they replied. “Nahhh… we were just kidding.”
 Dan Michalski at 12:59pm April 5
I hear ya. And a a die-hard AV fan for like FOUR MONTHS, I am really starting to question my loyalties and belief system.
 Sang Yoo at 7:22pm April 5
I’m pretty sure suffering is part and parcel of the EPL world of football. Is it a good time to tell you that AV is probably gonna lose its best midfield player in the summer?

Continue reading “Man U vs. Aston Villa”

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.

A Metaphor for Man-U’s Season?
Christiano Ronaldo flirts with disaster but no-harm no-foul

Can you imagine the heartbreak for Sang … first Lady Di, and now Christiano Ronaldo? Sure, his utter repulsion for all things Manchester (Utd.) left Christiano relegated to only second-tier heartthrob in Sang’s world … but still, you could tell, whenever he’d play, there was a certain glint in his eye acknowledging that it was Ronaldo’s oh-so-attractive legsmanship that showed him the meaning of true love for the Beautiful Game.

Would have totally sucked if he died, alone in a Ferrari, in a tunnel, not even drunk before practice:

The Sun via Tyler Durden (RawVegas assist)

Ronaldo and Nani Double-Team
The things these guys do for the sake of working on their chemistry!

This story will probably make Sang jealous on many fronts: hookers are talking about the 5-girl orgy they had with Christiano Ronaldo and his Man-Utd mates for a mere £3k … which made them feel like cheap hookers.

The Manchester United Experience … in China

Check it out, coming soon … one of the big draws to The Venetian Resort and Casino in Macau … The Manchester United Experience:

Football fans get ready for Asia’s first interactive football experience opening this November at The Manchester United Experience. Come experience the passion of the world’s most celebrated football club as you step into the boots of your favorite footballers. Immerse yourself in an interactive history of the club, lace up your boots and compete against fans from around Asia in our training zone, get a virtual tour of Old Trafford and see football like never before in our 4D Theatre of Dreams.

I have no idea what a 4D Theatre of Dreams might be. But the best I can tell it’s a combo museum/store — sorta like a Hard Rock or Planet Hollywood of Man-U soccer.

Source: VenetianMacao.com

MLS Better than EPL?

OK, maybe this is the wrong thing to say … but I watched the LA Galaxy vs. DC United yesterday, and just now Chelsea FC vs. Manchester Utd.

And I gotta say, the Galaxy/DC game was better than Chelsea/Manchester. In terms of pure entertainment value. Is this blasphemy?