January 29, 2010

GotW: Pick that out

Cheeky defense gets stung with a cheekier effort from beyond half.

Wilshere, Weiss, Holden at Bolton

Jack Wilshere is the latest mercenary loaned out to revival-hopefuls Bolton. Wilshere joins City prospect Vlad Weiss and effectively a loan out yank Stuart Holden as another young gun hoping to make an impact. I can't wait for the first match where Owen Coyle deploys all three barking young dogs. Might Bolton be relevant again by the end of the month?

January 23, 2010

Backwards Pass: Yanks Out, Mancs Not

Well this is embarrassing. Here's a wonderful red crowd butchering a classic John Denver song.

Really, who is the guy on the microphone? Who gave it to him in the first place?

January 21, 2010

More Adidas

This is too awesome in too many ways. Daft Punk and David Beckham in the same video? What?!

Another great collab to look forward to. Get your inner geek on.

January 15, 2010

Blatter Part 2: God damnit

This is why I hate FIFA, bureaucrats, and politics in sports.

No, change that. I hate this man.

Jerome Champagne, a rival of Blatter within FIFA's ranks, was forced out after it was revealed he challenged Blatter over his role as director of international relations. Again, Champagne was described as one of Blatter's closest friends and most trusted advisor. This seems to officially kill any and all opposition to Blatter's throne next year.

So in another political move of removing any voice of opposition, this is what the latest victim had to say to Blatter after the announcement of his demotion.

Champagne said he wished "to thank Joseph S. Blatter for the real privilege of having been able to serve the world of football over the years, all in the noble cause of helping to build a better world.''

Fuck. That.

GotW: Snap, cracker, pop!

Connor Clifford blasts this one so hard, he sprouted hair on his chest. Cheers to being only 19, with the world at his feet.

Backwards Pass: Bin Hammam, better than Blatter?

AFC head honcho has come out to suddenly backtrack on his disagreement with Sepp Blatter. Rumors were flying that FIFA president hopeful came out against Blatter in a row over allocation of funds for grassroots football in Africa. However, though the two have been described as good friends, bin Hammam seems quick to smooth over any rough edges.

It's understandable to do this for political reasons, if bin Hammam is really trying to move for the presidency, in maybe the next decade (or sooner if Blatter will finally roll over and die, good riddance). But it does nothing  else other than to solidify Blatter's monopoly on control and power within FIFA. Holy hell, even Platini doesn't have the balls to tell Blatter he is wrong to his face. In other words, Mohammad bin Hammam has the balls to stand up and do what he thinks is right. But is his meager 8 years of experience enough to guide him wisely?

He most likely won't be FIFA president for a long while, if at all, but damnit, we need more people like him coming out against Blatter.Sepp Bladderhead needs more reminders that he is not God Almighty.

January 14, 2010

NYC, they sure can hipsterize anything

 But I absolutely love this and everything about it.

Chinatown Soccer Club is the epitome of every Thursday-night-11pm-ending pickup gathering, where you get to meet and know people by thrashing them to the ground and dirty step-overs do the talking for you. In New York though, they added neat graphics and design to make it look pretty.

Adidas x Chinatown Soccer Club features this sick Sala collaboration. And you know what, I'd pay good money to a Brooklyn scalper to wear these. Not only do they look incredible, but you can bet they perform better than your friend's overpriced, overseas Lotto fakes.

And if you think it's all image, check out their blog here, recently added to my own blogroll. You'll see that they can definitely back it up with some grimey play.

Speaking of what Adidas is doing, I've been keeping this a secret from my friends, because I don't want anyone else I know getting a pair while I am waiting on mine, but I'll share with you guys. Adidas Skateboard has come out with this.

It's soccer related because the Busenitz Pro model shoe is based off of the classic Copa Mundials, but is hardy enough for skating. I think these shoes look incredible. Get a pair, look casual, be cool.

Landycakes, still pissing off Mexicans

As you probably know, in Mexico there are few men more hated and despised than Landon Donovan. He's done a good job in the past of aggravating the FEMEXFUTSo when this silly commercial aired, featuring Landon dressed as a Mexican trying to win the lottery, there was quite the uproar.

The idea is that it's easier to win in Mexico than in America. So says Landon. At least with him as far away as Merseyside, we can still count on him to continually deliver frustration to Mexican fans.

January 11, 2010

What a way to start off a tournament

Fantastic thriller, there's no doubt that the CAN is important to football. But three killed at the head of the games is not a good way to start. This match reminds us that football is a great sport.

January 7, 2010

Snowed in

Some odd links.

Kickette picked up that CR7's old WAG Nereida is engaged? How does he feel about this, I wonder...

I always somewhat dismissed the EPL bashing of the money/attitude situation, but this is somewhat unsettling for the inevitable crash that is coming. Then again, it's United.

He looks happy. Hope he plays that way. Watch out gooners.

Speaking of gooners.

And lastly, this makes me lol.

January 5, 2010

Gotw: 'Ave it!

January 3, 2010

January 1, 2010

Backwards Pass: Get Money, New Years Edition

Though money rules the world, not everything in life is all business. Sport, for example, is an industry built by media moguls and millionaires looking to use the machine to turn profits, but is founded in the free idea of fair play. A game between Chelsea and Barcelona has the same basic rules as a Sunday pickup game, the only difference is that one can provide the joy and exhilaration of football for free. However, in recent years, football has been infected by the same quick-buck mentality that fueled the recent worldwide financial meltdown. Short-sighted and selfish, it's owners like these who expect the purity of football to follow the simplicity of an economic equation. Money does not equal success. It never will. Just as in life, success comes with many other things.

Most people don't throw the word "love" around too easily, especially amongst the male Sunday pub demographic. But ask any club or country fan, and they can go on infinitely about love of the game, and love of football. From a physical perspective, money is the furthest thing from love, but would you not want to spend every penny you had for a show of appreciation for someone you love? There is a reason why wedding rings are typically diamond and gold. So shouldn't Roman Abramovich's recent decision to personally re-finance the £340m ($546m) debt be seen as a show of love? Obviously any Pooltard, Manc, or hatedMillwallLion will scrunch their noses and scowl, for without Sugar Daddy's bottomless purse, Chelsea would still be failing to achieve last year's new years resolution of breaking even. Of course it was an ambitious goal, for a club as large as Chelsea to be fully sustainable, but it is an admirable goal.

Regardless, it should be obviously known of Abramovich's love of Chelsea. Billions of his own money in the club. Unlike Sheikhwhoever, Abramovich has actually been spotted at matches. Youth and reserve team matches, mind you. He set up cameras at Cobham training ground to watch his team practice while he travels, and has been known to walk in random pubs to watch his team play.

It's odd then that average fans still don't understand. The media will understandably dislike Abramovich, especially after this court statement.
Posted on: Sun 18 Jan 2009
Defamation proceedings will be commenced tomorrow (Monday) in London by Roman Abramovich against the publishers of The Sunday Times. 
This follows the publication by them of false claims that he wants to sell his interest in Chelsea FC. Mr Abramovich has already made quite clear, through the directors of Chelsea, that he has no intention of doing so and that neither he nor anyone upon his behalf has been pursuing any such course of action.                          

I remember reading the one or two dumb articles saying how Chelsea would be up for sale, but as a Chels fan myself I knew them to be bogus and a waste of e-ink. It was typical drumming up of unfounded hatred. So it's unsurprising now that the media does not know how to handle Abramovich coming out to support UEFA's new Fair Play rules. Not many blogs have got this out yet, but this one handles it pretty well. The WSJ also explains the new rules set to be used by 2012, which would require that in order to participate in the Champions League, all clubs must be financially stable and sustainable. This is designed to prevent clubs from racking up large debts in search of success. Though Chelsea managed to reduce their losses this year by £22 million, £12.5m of which was the payoff for Phil Scolari, it stands in contrast to the increase in total debt of the winning champions in 10 European leagues by some £50m, with a total combined debt of all clubs of over £3.8 billion.

Let me repeat that. Europe's overall debt increased this year, while Chelsea lowered their standing debt. Further, most of Chelsea's debt went into equity investment, with construction of the training ground completed this year. So their debt shouldn't even really count as debt. Meanwhile, Chelsea are five points clear in the league, with no plans to buy or sell this January window, with a manager looking to finally utilize the talent and youth of the academy (Kakuta, Sturridge, and Borini, here's your chance to shine). My sweet lord, it is a good time to be wearing blue.

But not if your Pompey. With a precedent already  of a team being kicked from the Belgian Juliper League, Portsmouth merely have one month (Feb 23) to show that they won't fall under. It doesn't help then that other managers and chairmen are calling for Pompey heads. RC Lens chief Gervais Martel has already called for Portsmouth to be kicked for the league, saying that he feels cheated after they failed to receive money for the Belhadj and Dindane transfers. It's starting to look like Avram Grant will be forced to sell players in order to pay them the three-months owed wages, but it quickly will become a deadly slippery slope to League One a-la Leeds United.

So when did money become such an important part of sport? The better question to ask is why, but there may not be a clear reason if Barca knock Chelsea out of the Champions League again. After 5 years and billions of personal money, Abramovich may yet destroy everything he's dreamed of. Ironically, for Chelsea to win the Champions League would be a dream come true for millions of Chelsea fans, myself included. To see John Terry lift the cup over his head would be the greatest moment in club history, hand down. But if Chelsea do ever win that cursed and pedestaled trophy, it would spawn more Sheikh Mansours and Sulaiman al-Fahims. It would sadly reaffirm that equations can be created, that football is just another industry to be modeled, and that dreams can be bought. I wonder then if the sport could ever retain the purity it has now, or had long ago.

Anyways, my New Years resolution is to continue to play Football Manager 2010 and to try and take Blue Square South minnows Eastleigh FC all the way to the top and win the Champions League. Only this time without cheating and editing the pre-game data for a little extra cash...