22 December 2006

Pre-Christmas randomness.

  1. Jamie Carragher's year-end awards. They're all pretty great, but my favorite award is this one:
    Worst hair cut?

    It used to be Harry Kewell, I think that could count because he had that at the end of last season. At the moment…Riise just dyed his hair blonde from ginger. Who've I missed? Gonzalez has got a bad one, coming up to a point or something along those lines. Alonso when he lets his grow long looks pretty bad.
    I'm comforted by the knowledge that it's not just Footie Girl and I who are obsessed with players' hair. (And if you read the whole thing, he also makes fun of Steven Gerrard for that gelled monstrosity he had on his head earlier in the season. Well-played, Carra.

  2. 2006: the year of the WAG. I have to say, I have a bit of a fixation on the WAGs -- it's mostly trainwreck appeal, but still. Melanie Slade is cuter than hell, and there are a few others I like (mostly the ones not in the press). Having said that, though, can they go away now? It's pretty sad that in a World Cup year, the biggest story is a bunch of women going to Germany, dancing on tables, and spending too much money at H&M. (Also, why do I know who Abi Clancy is, and how do I remove that knowledge from my mind?) Maybe if the team had managed more than six goals the entire tournament, there would be more of a story relating to, you know, soccer. There's always Euro 2008, if they get there.

  3. Finally, I know this has been linked absolutely everywhere, but it's still great, so I'm linking it again.

    If you're going to cancel a Carling Cup quarterfinal due to fog? Make sure to give your interviews inside. Or at least not where the players can see you.

19 December 2006

Postponed due to fog.

Yeah, yeah, I know playing in fog is dangerous and all. But really, it doesn't look all that foggy, and you can clearly see from one side of the pitch to the other. Just crank up the lights a bit and it's all good. And it seems like both teams wanted to play, too. Bah. I can't entertain myself all break, guys. (But if they play in snow, which they do, I don't get how fog is more dangerous, really. Silly refs.)

In the tie that actually happened, Charlton went down against Wycombe Wanderers, currently in League Two. I don't have anything against Charlton, really, but man, I love the Cinderella stories. I just finished The Far Corner last weekend, too. It's sort of a cross between sports writing and travel writing -- the author goes around the Northeast of England attending soccer matches. It's hilarious, and he goes to several Wycombe matches, so now I know a very little about them (but more than I did before). Anyway. As long as they don't get drawn against Liverpool in the next round, go Wycombe! (And if anyone is looking for a good holiday read, The Far Corner is it. Really good, and probably one of the best soccer books I've read. Better than How Soccer Explains the World, at least.)

15 December 2006

Champions League draw

Liverpool drawn against Barcelona in Champions League round of 16.

I'm sorry, all I want to say are various combinations of profanity. (Also, BBC? Thanks for pointing out that it'll be "tricky." We didn't know that.) Dammit! Looks like the Carling Cup is it this season. Maybe.

The only bright spot here is that Man U got Lille. Who, if y'all remember, prevented Man U from advancing out of the group stages last season. I don't hold out a lot of hope for Cinderella stories, but it'd be nice. (Also, Man U fans? I don't want to hear any more complaining about easy draws. Ever.)

In other draw news, Arsenal got PSV, Chelsea got Porto, and Celtic got AC Milan (speaking of easy draws, MILAN). Then in the games I don't care about, you have Roma-Lyon and Inter-Valencia. The final tie is Real Madrid-Bayern Munich, which could potentially be interesting, especially if Oliver Kahn goes crazy and starts gnawing on Ronaldo's arm or something. Or he and Iker Casillas could have the Battle of the Shouty Keepers. I would probably pay money to see that.

13 December 2006

Steven is a punk rocker now.

Honestly, I thought 'fancy dress' meant 'black tie.' Guess not. Liverpool, you worry me sometimes. Though I have to say, Daniel Agger as Elvis? Pretty brilliant.

And on an unrelated note, this may be the best quote ever. Joey Barton on the rash of England autobiographies:

"We got beaten in the quarter-finals. I played like shit. Here's my book."
I don't even like him, but that's about right, really. Should make things interesting when (or if) he gets called up. (My favorite statistic ever in life: Ashley Cole's book has sold, at last count, less than five thousand copies. I don't want to say karma, but. KARMA.)

11 December 2006

Carra scores?

Oh, Jamie Carragher. The last time you scored, I was in high school. This is kinda like seeing a UFO, but infinitely more fun. Also, while that goal celebration isn't the most creative I've ever seen, I do love how the entire team gets involved in it. I guess you have to figure that's probably a once-in-a-career chance.

So, yeah, 4-0. I'd have liked to see some better play in the first half, but it feels silly to complain about a result like that. Our defense seems to have mostly sorted itself out, though I'd like to see it against a team that creates more than Fulham did. Still, we're finally in the Champions League spots, so I'll quit complaining for a while.

Unlike both Arsenal and Chelsea, after their draw (see what I did with that segue?). If you want serious analysis of this game, I suggest going elsewhere, because honestly I don't much care for either of the team. However, the petty little dramas that emerge from all these games? Hilarious. Nothing can top the Christmas card debacle of last season, but we have Ashley Cole attempting to make nice with Cesc Fabregas and Jens Lehmann complaining that Frank Lampard said mean things to him. Seriously? Cole said some pretty nasty things about Fabregas, so I can understand not wanting to pretend like everything's okay. But insulting each other seems to be part of the game; not that it should be, necessarily, but it is. Lehmann might be justified in his complaints, but I don't really think anyone's going to take him seriously. Unless he starts headbutting people when they offend him. Which I would support, purely for the comedic value.

And finally today, West Ham fired Alan Pardew. This makes me sadder than it probably should, but I always kinda liked Pardew. He seems like a good guy, and it's a little unfair to tell him his job's safe and then fire him a week later, I think. I wonder what would have happened if he'd not bought Tevez and Mascherano back in August -- that seems to have been the tipping point. Anyway, I liked him, and here's hoping he'll make it back to the Premiership soon.

07 December 2006

A return to the shallow end

Or the sleazy end, as it may be. I've been in the depths of finals and papers since before Thanksgiving, which is my not-that-great excuse for radio silence. Since I've been gone:

  • Liverpool topped their Champions League with a game to spare. Thank god, since they proceeded to lose to Galatasaray in the last game, despite Fowler's double. At least they're through now, though I'll miss not hearing the Champions League theme song until February.

  • First away win of the season, baby. I still think the yellow kits are cursed somehow -- note that they were wearing red this time. I'm a bit amazed that they're fifth in the league, but if they keep playing like this, maybe fourth will happen. (On another note, when the commentators are openly acknowledging that you have to play in central midfield or else you'll pout? You are not being a good captain, but just another mediocre diva. Time to step up, Steven.)

  • Liverpool got maybe, possibly, hypothetically bought by Dubai. Xabi Alonso is skeptical, and I am too, a little. More on this later, when and if the deal goes through.

  • Shevchenko is leaving Chelsea. Or maybe not. They don't really need him now Drogba's figured out how to stay on his feet, and Milan never found an effective replacement. Also, Sheva looks like he hasn't slept a night since he left Milan. Homesickness? Or is he a vampire? It's unclear.

All good stories, and all worth talking about. However, the topic of discussion today? Sex tapes. Specifically, this. DEAR FOOTBALLERS: STOP MAKING SEX TAPES. They will get out, you will be embarrassed, and if you're at Sunderland, Roy Keane will probably give you a hairdryer treatment so extensive even Sir Alex would be impressed. It's only a matter of time before that video shows up on Youtube or some blog, and yeah. The chants will be legendary, I feel. Especially for the guy "performing a sexual act" while still wearing his sweater. I just . . . what? I don't have anything else to say that hasn't been said better by the Fiver. Except. DEAR FOOTBALLERS. STOP MAKING SEX TAPES. Or you'll still be talking about it five years later, and making this humble blogger vaguely ill. Yeah, I definitely meant the sleazy end of the pool, and that's without even linking the Stefan Postma video. Sorry.