31 January 2007

Transfer day, part meh

...And that's it. Liverpool bought some tiny Spaniards -- seriously, at this point it's getting almost as bad as Wenger's underage fixation -- but other than that and the semi-abortive Mascherano deal, there's not much to talk about today.

So instead, I will end this day of blogging about nothing by wishing myself a happy blog-iversary. One year ago, this humble blog started with babbling about Liverpool and bashing the US team, and remarkably little has changed. Here's to many more years -- I'm sure Liverpool will always give me plenty to yell about.

Transfer day, part two.

Bale to stay at Southampton until the summer.

And here ends January's most boring and pointless transfer saga. I mean, really. He's barely 17, and he's only played in the Championship. He may be the next great defender, but he may be the next Jermaine Pennant, too. I'm not sure he's worth 10 million, sight unseen. I don't want to overwork the Theo Walcott comparison here, since they're different positions, but it is somewhat relevant. So, you know, good for Bale for staying at Southampton and taking some more time to develop. It's not the end of the world if he's 18 before he plays in the Premiership, and it's probably better than going too big too fast and flaming out.

Though seriously. Hasn't this been the most boring January window EVER?

Transfer day, part one

Dear Liverpool: Seriously? First of all, I don't think you really need another central midfielder. Second, even assuming that you do? Maybe get one that's not a curse on teams. I know that he really isn't the only reason that West Ham are firmly ensconced in the relegation zone, but still. I am so against this deal, y'all.

24 January 2007

Links of the week

It's kind of quiet this week in Liverpool news -- I guess that's what happens when you're out of both domestic cups and don't have another league match till Tuesday. Not that I'm bitter. So ahead of the trip to West Ham, some totally non-Liverpool news.

  1. Zidane to MLS? Not so much. I'm not surprised that he said no, I'm surprised that they had the balls to ask. He's barely been retired for six months, and also? It's Chicago. Nothing against the town, but it's not exactly LA. In that it's cold. If you're going to end your career by whoring yourself out to a lower-tier league, it seems like you'd want to go someplace warm. Like Dubai. Or LA.

  2. Speaking of whoring yourself out to lower-tier leagues, what does Beckham's arrival mean for MLS the brand? I know everyone's sick to death of this deal, but I thought this was an interesting take on it from a marketing and brand-growth perspective. Though if most of the article is about how Beckham is going to make the league more attractive, I really question the use of that picture.

  3. Dear footballers, what did I say about sex tapes? Also, what's with everyone wearing their shirts while having three-ways these days? Because, I have to say: not hot.

  4. The politics of pink and sports. Okay, this one isn't even in the same sport, but bear with me. The pink thing is, I think, symbolic of the whole female-fan problem. I've definitely had people question my fan credentials, even give me quizzes about it. (Yes, dude, I know what position Beckham plays. I also know who England should play in midfield and the last five winners of the Champions League. Anything else?) The assumption seems to be that if women like sports, they're either only interested in the cute boys or they're faking interest to make their boyfriends or husbands happy. Yeah, sorry, no. I don't know why people feel justified in jumping to that conclusion based on the color of someone's jersey. If the choices are wearing a pink jersey that fits or wearing a men's jersey that doesn't, I know a lot of women are going to pick the first option. And it doesn't make them any less able to understand the offside rule. Especially in soccer, and especially in America, there's about a generation of women who have grown up playing and watching and loving the game on its own terms, not as a way to make boys like you or whatever the easy assumption is. So if you're going to call me "a pink" and talk down to me about this sport I've loved for years, save yourself the trouble and fuck off.

22 January 2007

You know you're having a bad day . . .

When you get owned by Landon Donovan.

20 January 2007

Oh, boys.

Dear Liverpool:

All is forgiven. I realize that was an under-strength Chelsea side, but I don't really care. Y'all did a good job exploiting their defensive weakness early on. The second half was a little more dicey, but for some reason, they never seriously looked like scoring. (I mean, really, did anyone see Sheva after he came on? Anyone?)

Of course, Chelsea trying stuff like this doesn't hurt any, either:

So, that's two solid wins in a row, one against the reigning champions. Get a solid hold on third -- or hell, you're just five points back, challenge for second -- and focus on getting a gameplan together for Barcelona. This is a good turnaround, so build on that and maybe this can be a successful season.


P.S. Xabi Alonso? Awesome. Don't let anyone ever tell you foreign players aren't committed enough.

16 January 2007

Seriously, Real (Part 3 in a continuing series.)

Because they weren't being big enough jackasses already.

"David Beckham will be an average cinema actor living in Hollywood," said Calderon. "The proof that our technical team was right in not considering his continuity has been ratified by every single technical team in the world, because no one, with the player having been free, has wanted him."

Stupid, stupid, stupid. (There was more here, but Blogger just ate it.) Say what you want about the Galaxy -- what's a "technical" team, anyway? -- but the fact that Beckham has a contract would seem to indicate that someone did, in fact, want him. This almost sounds like sour grapes, but they have to have known that most players wouldn't be happy to sit on the bench forever, even at a team as indisputably awesome (cough) as Real. So either they're stupid or just bitter that he went to, like, America. How tacky.

Also, another "average cinema actor living in Hollywood"? Was he talking about Posh and got confused?

15 January 2007

Bad idea theater!

Seriously, Real. Everyone knew you were going to get rid of Beckham -- the speculation's been intense even before this season started and Capello arrived. I'm not saying you were wrong to do so; he's aging, kinda slow, and if he doesn't fit into the team, he doesn't fit into the team. But, god, are you really getting this pissy because he made a better deal? Grow up.

God, it's a good thing I never liked them anyway. This is pretty tacky behavior from the self-styled biggest club in the world. Other players leave all the time, so why Becks? It's weird, and it kinda seems like bitterness that he left them to go to MLS. Calling them the redheaded stepchild of international soccer is probably being a bit too generous, so maybe Real feel spurned? Still. No excuse; this is incredibly petty of them. Bah.

Mascherano? Please. No. I don't want to dwell on this too much, because it doesn't look all that likely right now, but dear Liverpool. No. He can't get into the first team at West Ham. And really, there are more than enough central midfielders floating around Anfield right now. Do y'all really need another one? Or another overrated South American? I mean, you already have Aurelio and Gonzalez. (Yeah, I said it.) In conclusion: no.

New sidebar links: Losing the Dressing Room and I Dislike Your Favorite Team. Both excellent, but only one's challenging me to a tickle fight.

14 January 2007

The new Real Madrid, the old one and also some Liverpool.

Chelsea = the new Real? Well, a girl can hope. But the parallels are there -- tension and arguments between the board and the manager, a lack of control over transfers and signings, and an underperforming team. If Mourinho goes, which is looking increasingly likely, it's easy to see Chelsea getting into the same self-destructive pattern that Real's been in for two or three seasons now. Managerial merry-go-round, signings made on the basis of their marketing potential instead of their talent (I'd even argue that this part's already happening, with Shevchenko and Ballack both aging and having poor seasons) -- before you know it, you haven't won anything for three or four seasons. I'd say that I hope that doesn't happen, but we all know that'd be a lie.

No final game for Beckham. Speaking of Real. I can kinda understand them not wanting to play him much -- they haven't been playing him much anyway, and now he's committed to another team. But it's not like that's an unusual situation, really, and refusing to give him even a final game just seems petty, especially after Real practically forced him out. I can't help wondering if this is because Beckham decided to go to the Galaxy, as opposed to Milan or some other European team. Like, "he's chasing the money, screw him" or something. Or maybe Real would be that childish no matter what. I'm not saying play him in the Champions League final or anything, but come on. The Real fans liked him; would one more game, against Sociedad or someone, kill y'all? I'm not sure when I became a Beckham defender, but seriously. Real need to grow up.

Oh, and this is a Liverpool blog after all, I guess -- Liverpool 3 - Watford 0. I didn't get up to watch this one (dude, I'm still mad about that Carling Cup match), so I don't really have a lot to say about it. It's good to see Liverpool getting back to winning; another away win is always good, even if it's against a relegation-threatened team like Watford. Thank god they weren't playing a more challenging team, because losing three in a row would have been a pretty big hit on any team's confidence. If they can get a solid handle on third or fourth, I'll be happy.

10 January 2007

So sad and you're so bad for me

Should Liverpool fans give up on their team?

Um. Maybe? I mean, I'm as bitter as anyone after that horrible, horrible performance yesterday. But. Has fandom ever been rational? Perennial losers like Newcastle still have full houses, and I don't know why you'd expect any more logic from Liverpool fans. If success were the only criterion from fandom, everyone would be Chelsea supporters. And then get criticized for being glory-hunters. I tend to think that your team is your team regardless. In practical terms, the average fan doesn't have any control at all over how their team performs, or even who they buy. If the options are stay with the team even though they're underperforming, start supporting the most successful team, or give up soccer entirely, I know I'll stick with them. It's irrational, yeah, but come on. Devoting all that time and energy to watching 22 people in shorts kick a ball around for an hour or two isn't exactly the definition of logic itself. Love is irrational, and that applies to sports just as much as anything else.

Not that there's nothing to criticize from that game. Far from it.


  1. Playing Dudek again. All credit from Istanbul is gone, sir. Also, saving a penalty doesn't do you any good if you almost immediately concede a goal from open play.
  3. After Baptista scores on you once, maybe try marking him.
  4. Yes, I know y'all came back from 3-0 down in Istanbul, 3-1 down against Luton, and 2-0 and 3-2 down against West Ham. However, if you learned nothing from the FA Cup game Saturday, you should have learned that you are no longer that team. You can't do that anymore, and it's sloppy, sloppy play to concede weak goals and hope to fight back later. You've relied on that for way too long, and now it's coming back. You can't rely on defenses slipping; Milan was a fluke, and come on. Luton and West Ham were both effectively lower-tier sides punching above their weight. Those should have been easy games.
  5. You clearly learned nothing from playing Arsenal Saturday. Even if Arsenal were fielding a weaker side, this was your only real chance for a trophy this season -- come on, Barcelona? No way, kids -- so might as well play your best team and stand a chance of getting to the semis. But no. The season is effectively over, and check the calendar. It's January. For a team that thinks they're contenders for the league, that's embarrassing. For anyone, that's embarrassing.

Liverpool, from the players to Rafa to the board, underestimated Arsenal twice. They overestimated their own abilities, and god. Get serious, get humble, and get back in this. The objective has to be getting to the Champions League next season. It won't be a successful season, but it's the best we can hope for.

08 January 2007

Embittered Liverpool fans anonymous

Seriously, Dudek? Why? (And we're doing it again on Tuesday? Because that worked so well last time?) I'm all for giving the B team a run-out, but come on. Not when you're playing Arsenal, and especially not when this is both teams' best shot at a trophy of any kind this season. Gah.

Yes, I know it's unfair to blame Dudek for everything -- the defense was horrible, especially on the second Rosicky goal. I'm just tired of this. We have all the talent in the world (well, not all of it, but enough). Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup last year with a much thinner squad. There's no reason they should be struggling as much as they are, but it seems like they're back to the defensive mistakes that characterized the early part of this season. Those weren't a lot of fun when we were playing, like, West Ham. When we've got Barcelona coming up in the next month -- god. Please figure it out again. I know y'all don't want to be out of all the cup competitions by February, and I really don't want to deal with my Arsenal-loving friends gloating again. Some more.

However, there were a couple of good things that came from this match. First, hopefully now they'll know better what to do against Arsenal tomorrow (here's a hint -- MARK ROSICKY). Second, there are some hilariously bitter photo captions over at Propaganda. Footie Girl's already covered this a bit, but there's more than enough bitterness to go around. My personal favorites: 1) wannabe Liverpool player Henry, 2) Eboue the diver, and 3) the incompetence of the ref. Not the most mature thing, yeah, but I guess you have to make your own fun after a loss like that.

The best thing out of this match, though, is this:

Best fans in England.