28 November 2007

Redknapp sketchy -- who knew?

I guess this takes him out of the running for England. Though I guess you can't really transfer players on a national team, so maybe he was never in the running to begin with.

As Footie Girl said: "Next week: The exclusive revelation that Jose Mourinho is a bit conceited!"

(And yes, presumption of innocence and all that. I'm just saying.)

26 November 2007

Question of the day

So, I'm new to the whole MLS thing, in that I only started watching games over the summer. And now it's the off-season, and players are moving all over (DC to San Jose to Columbus, for one), and I am so confused. Anyone want to explain the MLS transfer market to me? In small words?

Waiting-too-long-to-post news

Between travel and Thanksgiving, my post about England, Russia, Israel, and Croatia is pretty much entirely moot now. England only needed a draw against Croatia (who had already qualified) at home to make it to Euro 2008. They couldn't do it, McClaren got fired, and now no one wants the job.

I have to say, I'm not surprised by any of this. England lucked out that Israel won on Saturday to keep them alive this long. They lost to too many teams (and too many bad teams) along the way for me to say they deserved to qualify. At some point, being a big name doesn't get you anywhere, and they reached that point. McClaren didn't have any ideas that Sven didn't have earlier -- by the end, they were still trying to play Gerrard, Lampard, and Beckham all in the same midfield. Like, weren't they trying this before? And didn't it fail horribly then? They're just out of ideas, and chose to bring someone in who would just do more of the same. I don't know how anyone's surprised that they didn't qualify. (And yeah, injuries and all that. Wouldn't have made a difference if they'd done what they needed to earlier.)

And I really can't blame anyone for not wanting the England job, either. The media and the public think you've got a better squad than you do (Paul Robinson, starting keeper. Honestly.), you'll be blamed for absolutely everything, and anything less than winning the World Cup is a failure. I understand having high standards and all, but really, shouldn't the team be able to qualify consistently (and well) before they worry about winning anything? O'Neill's apparently ruled himself out, and I wasn't horribly thrilled with the idea of him regardless, so what the hell. Mourinho for England. Most of those players need their egos taken down a step or two, he'd be more interesting at press conferences than McClaren, and they might stand a chance of making it to the World Cup. (Yes, I know, easy qualifying group. Didn't they say that about Euro 2008?) Based on sheer entertainment value, I'm backing Mourinho. Not that the FA listens to me, but at least I make more sense than Brian Barwick.

19 November 2007

I would have guessed seventh grade.

Via Dan Loney:

cash advance

It must be the semicolons. I like semicolons.

Posts about the internationals from this weekend and MLS Cup are forthcoming. But I'm currently in the middle of a marathon paper-writing session, so this is the best I can do right now. Sorry, y'all.

16 November 2007

Redesign and watch party

I'm fixing to head out to DC, but some quick things before I hit the road:

  • I redesigned the blog. This also involved editing my blogroll; I had to take off some dead links and I added some new blogs that I've been reading recently. (How did I not know about Soccer Insider until now?) If you were on there before and I dropped you, leave me a comment.

  • Mourinho to New York? I won't lie, this would be pretty awesome. If Bruce Arena was too outspoken for the league's taste, I shudder to think what they'd make of Jose. But at least it'd be fun to watch. I may not like him, but he's definitely entertaining.

  • If you're in DC this weekend, there's a US/South Africa watch party going on. I can't promise I'll be there -- I don't do well with early mornings. But it looks like a good time, so I wanted to pass the word along.

15 November 2007

Rainy Thursday MLS blogging

Because, kids, the MLS Cup is this weekend, and your humble blogger is going. This is actually my first MLS game ever, and even though I don't care much for either of the teams, I'm excited to go. I'm actually sort of going in as a neutral; I'm from Texas and all, but most Texans don't claim Houston as their own, and Boston's winning everything else this year, so I don't want to see them win MLS Cup, too. Not that either of those are really good reasons to dislike a team, but who said sports fandom was rational? I'll probably end up cheering for Houston, since the friend I'm going with has decided to support New England, and I'm contrary like that.

I'm not going to get into the whole "playoffs mean the best team doesn't win" thing, because 1) that's true of every sport, and 2) that's true of foreign cup competitions, too. Does anyone really think Liverpool were the best team in Europe in 2005? Or Milan were last year? No (or at least, they shouldn't). But that's how it works. I would have liked this final to be DC/Chivas, since they were the teams with the best overall records this season, but that's not how knockout competitions work.

I'm just thinking of this as the equivalent of the FA Cup final, and an excuse to go up to DC, drink in the stands, and tell the New England players to suck it. Because, really, isn't that what being a sports fan is all about?

13 November 2007

Pointless link of the day

Alexi Lalas and his incredibly tiny and adorable Yorkie.

What is it with super-masculine managers and Yorkies? First Mourinho, now Lalas. I love Yorkies, but aren't they a little, well, girly for that type of guy? If I were that dog, I'd be worried about Lalas accidentally stepping on me. Dude's tall, is all I'm saying.

09 November 2007

Friday linkspam

With an international twist this time, since we're coming up to the last round of Euro qualifiers.

  • McClaren recalls David Beckham. Because for a must-win game against Croatia, you totally want an oldish midfielder that has barely played a game since he went to MLS. If anyone ever doubted that McClaren is completely out of ideas, this should be all the proof you need.

  • The US named their roster for the friendly against South Africa. I'm glad to see some of the younger players get called up, like Altidore and Edu and Kljestan (...and Eddie Lewis. I don't know.) I kind of wish they were playing a European opponent, but I guess that's hard to do with the Euro qualifiers. Anyway, South Africa should be an interesting opponent, and it's probably a good idea to go down there before the World Cup. Um, assuming they qualify.

  • I really have no comment on this story. Except that man needs a job, and fast.

06 November 2007

Derby > Besiktas?

Darn right, kids. I just hope they didn't use up all their goals in this match. They'll need at least one or two more for Porto and Marseille.

All right, Liverpool

It's time to get your act together, kids. Well, really, the time to have gotten your act together in the Champions League was a couple of months ago. Being bottom of a group with Besiktas, Marseille, and Porto is an absolute embarrassment. As is the fact that Liverpool have yet to win a game against any of those teams. I don't think Liverpool are going to win anything this season -- especially considering they can't seem to win in the league -- but going out in the group stage of the Champions League is completely humiliating. Particularly when you can't even make it into the UEFA Cup. Just ask Manchester United a couple of seasons ago. I don't really understand how Liverpool are playing so badly right now; I know they're dealing with a lot of injuries, but were Alonso and Agger so essential that they can't put anything together until they return? Right now, the midfield distribution is horrendous. Sissoko can't manage to even pass successfully, we don't have a single fast defender, and I'm starting to screech every time I see Kuyt picked over Crouch. Right now, I don't care how pretty they play, I just want a win. And all our injured players back. And a pony.

In MLS playoff news, all of the teams I wanted to make it to the final (DC, Chivas, Dallas) are out. Now I'm going to have to cheer for Houston or Kansas City, I think, because I refuse to cheer on a team with Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Ugh, he's such a whiny little bitch. Hate. I don't love the MLS playoff format -- if you're going to do home-and-away, you need to have away goals -- but I don't really know enough about the league to say what would make it better. Though I did just look here, and seriously, the semifinals are just one game? Well, that's crap. Anyway.

In non-playoff MLS news, Alexi Lalas wants a 'sexy type of candidate' to manage the Galaxy. I'm not sure what that means, but if he thinks he's getting Mourinho, he's fooling himself. Player/manager David Beckham. That's all I'm saying.