15 November 2006

Linkspam of the day

How would you do as a WAG? As myself, turns out I'm non-league -- no tan, jeans, and yeah. The best I could hope for is, like, Stan Collymore. And who wants that?

Steven Gerrard: jaded free spirit? I don't think he's only effective in central midfield. Considering he was on the right a lot of the time last season, that can't be the problem with Liverpool's form this time around. However, Momo's out for a good long while now. If it'd get him to stop pouting for a while, why not try center?

I don't really care whether you think it's realistic or not, boys. Just try to win? Also, Riise, just mark your man. Seriously.

12 November 2006

Unpopular sporting opinions

In some ways I really am a soccer fundamentalist. I don’t know how I got all these prejudices, considering I’m only in my fifth season of fandom. Nevertheless, here they are, and I'm not apologizing for any of them.

If I ran the world (or at least the Premiership):

  1. No gloves. Run more and your hands won’t be cold, kids.

  2. Shoes should be as close to completely black as possible. At the very least, they should not be electric-blue or yellow. Beckham and Cisse, I’m looking at you.

  3. There is a very narrow range of acceptable goal celebrations. Jumping on teammates? Fine. Kissing your ring finger, badge, or teammate? Fine. Rocking an imaginary child, pretending to give birth to the ball, or continuing to suck your thumb even though your son is practically in junior high now? No. Stop it. (However, shirt-removal should not be a yellow. They’re not hurting anyone, and there’s no reason to steal female fans’ joy like that.)

  4. Strikers and keepers shouldn’t be captains. Strikers are too far upfield and can’t see the run of play well. Also, they’re generally more focused on scoring than on anything else, which makes for bad captains. Keepers are, as you may have noticed, not outfield players, so even though they can see the play, they’re not involved enough for me. I’m willing to create an exception for international teams – because, really, Ukraine aren’t going to have anyone but Shevchenko as their captain – but as far as club teams? Central defenders or midfielders are totally the way to go.

  5. Related to that, keepers shouldn’t take free kicks or penalties. I admit this is an irrational prejudice, based entirely on my virulent dislike of Rogerio Ceni, but I’m sticking with it. Keepers are meant to prevent goals from being scored, not to score them.

  6. Slide tackling is to be encouraged. Next to a long-range goal, a well-timed slide tackle is just about my favorite thing about this sport. Carding for every single tackle is lame. This is a contact sport, and as long as they’re not actively trying to break each other’s legs, go for it.

  7. Diving is not strategic. It just means you’re lame. I know everyone does it, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. This isn’t a problem in the Premiership as much as it is in some other leagues, but god. I really do hate it.

  8. Leave the ref alone. God knows they aren’t perfect (Graham Poll, anyone?), but surrounding them and yelling about every call that goes against your team is both rude and stupid. You know the ref isn’t going to change his decision, so all you’re doing is building up bad feelings, looking like a bully, and making it more likely that he’s not going to give you the benefit of the doubt the next time. Complaining afterward has the same issues, and if you’re Mike Newell, it makes you look like a real dick. For other reasons than normal, true, but whatever. I’m done with him.

  9. And finally, if you wear one of those special protective headbands, I totally reserve the right to call you a little girl.

In other news, Paul Dalglish is totally cute. I can’t say I care much about this final, but that’s a pretty nice article.

We'll talk about the Arsenal match when I can be coherent and rational about it. Right now, my favorite part is Xabi's tackle that should've been a card. Nothing happened for the other 89 minutes.