November 25, 2009

Backwards Pass: Not to play the tired hand, but....

Oh shut up.

Anyways, if you haven't seen it or heard about "Thierrygate", then you must've been born yesterday or you are French, and like Wenger, you "din't see eet". Well, Frenchies, can you translate "hand of god" for me?

I really didn't feel the need or urge to say anything about the whole France - Ireland fiasco, simply because it was everywhere and obvious. Ireland feels bad, Thierry feels bad, excuse for a manager Domenech feels nothing in his empty chest and head, all of Europe feels bad, Swedish football fans apologized to Ireland, even God admits this is one big mess (by this: France).

Don't get me wrong. Unlike almost ALL of the bloody sports media, I am not going to pull a "my father's father was Irish." I don't feel like griping about it, and I'm not an Irish sympathizer/French hater by any means.

But this. THIS. Is unacceptable.

The Swedish referee who missed Thierry Henry's now famous handball insists he was not at fault, but the incredible fallout after the World Cup play-off incident still almost caused him to quit football.

First of all, did I read that correctly?

"I realise that it was not my fault," he told Swedish newspaper Sydostran. "It was an unfortunate event that had big consequences for Ireland, but it wasn't the fault of the refereeing team."

Oh snap.

You know, it takes an entirely separate level of boneheaded idiocy to first, ignore what your eyeballs see, ignore the fan reaction, ignore the player reaction, and still give a goal. But to try and distance yourself from any sort of blame does not protect you. If this man has a working human conscience, then he must surely understand causation. He let the goal stand, and millions around the world feel cheated. Hmm, is there a connection?

I know referees have gotten a lot of stick over recent years, to the extent of death threats and forced retirings (Ovrebo, I'll never forgive you). But moments like those seem to come out of sheer frustration, anger, and humiliation. Eire's situation is beyond that. Nothing can be done, no replay would be fair enough. Automatic qualification would not bring the same satisfaction. At this point, the only justice to the footballing world would be for Martin Hansson and his team to recognize that they fucked up, apologize, and stay out of the World Cup Finals. Trying to remove yourself from blame is to say that you played no part in the result, that you may as well have been home smelling paint and wanking anyways. That is the last thing football referees need to be doing right now to earn back credibility and respect in a crucial time when technology and cameras are threatening to turn referees into a yellow shirted tradition.

Martin Hansson, this isn't about you. It never was, and never will be. It's about football. Ireland as a whole is man enough to take it on the chin (which is no mean feat for the Irish), so kindly put yourself above it all and do some right in this twisted football world.

November 20, 2009

The Big Dance

The number and statistics obsessed guys at The Best Eleven put together this great visual. Here are your final 32 contenders, gents.

Biggest Match Fixing Probe in European History

So far, 15 suspects have been arrested, 50 raids carried out producing €1m in cash, with over €10m ($15m) in illegal betting proceeds, and a total of 200 matches around Europe suspected of fixing including 3 Champions League fixtures.

The Financial Times has this,
"This is without a doubt the biggest fraud scandal to ever hit European football,” said Peter Limacher of the Union of European Football Associations. “We are deeply shocked."
All of these numbers have just been released, but police from four different countries are already involved with more suspects and illegal money still expected. This is turning into the kind of criminal gang ring you see in movies.

The game is dirty folks, that's just how it is. But if UEFA and FIFA can handle this the right way, it would be a huge statement for other organizing bodies that match-fixing can be taken care of.

Placenta Cream, Now Available for Your Local Physio

This stuff works?

This isn't just a passing fad in football, apparently this stuff actually helps players through injury. Liverpoogle bossman Benitez vouches for it.

"Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio, Yossi Benayoun, and Albert Riera have all visited the Belgrade clinic run by physiotherapist Mariana Kovacevic, having previous been ruled out for up to a month with calf and hamstring injuries.
Following a massage with the placenta cream, all four have returned to full training and are in line for Saturday's vital home Premier League clash with Manchester City, with a Champions League trip to Hungary to face Debrecen on Tuesday and the Merseyside derby at Everton next Sunday."

I guess when you are as desperate as Benitez, any miracle cure looks good.

But my question is why has this been a secret until now then? I mean, if it really does work for the prissy, overpaid celebrity star, when will we see a market movement for placenta creams at our local pharmacys? Perhaps if somehow after this treatment Liverpool win the league and Robin van Persie takes the Golden Boot...

November 16, 2009

Backwards Pass: Van Persie


"Van Persie will fly to Serbia to have the treatment, performed by a female doctor, following a recommendation from PSV Eindhoven striker Danko Lazovic.
Van Persie was stretchered off in the 10th minute of Holland's goalless friendly encounter with Italy after a challenge from Giorgio Chiellini.

"She is vague about her methods but I know she massages you using fluid from a placenta.
"I'm going to try. It cannot hurt and if it helps, it helps."

No, RVP, you're only kind of right actually. If it doesn't hurt, it's still fucking creepy as hell.


November 12, 2009

Irish Hospitality - Diplomatic Beef

The following images have reportedly been leaked from the Irish government office, and contain correspondence between French and Irish officials ahead of the upcoming World Cup playoff.

Not so secretly, I am praying that this is real. And simply because of this, I cannot wait until Ireland take on France at Croke Park.

Follow the jump and enjoy.

Another motor accident

Tottenham keep Carlo Cudicini was reported to have been in a motorcycle crash, fracturing both his wrists and pelvis.

For the sake of goalies everywhere, can they not try to be safer? Keepers are already not the most readily available players.

November 10, 2009

Loss for Words

Don't really know what to say about this, but Robert Enke was found dead today after being hit by a train. For one, I don't want to contemplate whether it was suicide or not, but he was definitely a talented keeper and was expected to go to South Africa with the German national team.

The general consensus is that Enke was a good bloke, but this is grim news for football.

November 8, 2009

Sir Alex Said What?

"The referee's position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous - he can't see anything. He's got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him - and he doesn't even move.

"It was a bad decision, but there's nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there - it was a bad one." (Soccernet)

Oh. Hrm. Nothing new.

November 2, 2009

Suddenly, Babies Everywhere!

To commemorate the new baby season, here is a picture of a cute baby dressed up in funny clothing.

Something about a mean uncle playing a practical joke? Pffft, no. Just, you know, Rooney, Coley, Grosso, Buffon, Moutinho, and Metzelder, keep an eye on those children.