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Netherlands Almost the End of the Season Update

Hello out there in Football blog reading land. 

We’ve now reached what just about everyone likes to call the “business end” of the season.  There isn’t very much to talk about as far as international football is concerned so I thought I’d briefly summarize the seasons of our starting eleven.

We can look forward to a team playing regularly and performing well consistently.  With the exception of van Persie the team will be match fit. 

 

The only position that lacks a clear first choice at this point is centre forward.  van Persie is coming off of a long lay off, van Nistelrooy has yet to regain his previous form and Huntelaar does not seem to have the confidence of van Marwijk and would likely not be chosen above a fully fit – if not match fit – Robin van Persie.

The problem is…statistics are crap and mean nothing.  Elia might bottle it, Huntelaar could be put up front and van Persie shunted out to the left.  The Dutch actually have a settled squad with each player enjoying reasonable success with his club.  Sneijder and Robben are enjoying their best form of recent memory.  Each has led his team to the brink of domestic success and the Champions League semi-final.   

Could this really be the tournament?  There has never been a better chance for our team but they will have to overcome the other leading lights in World Football and only time will tell.

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Man United are the new Leeds

January 4, 2010 1 comment

Let’s quickly get some of the really interesting stats out of the way. 

  • Leeds are 42 places below Man United in the overall scheme of English Football.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson has never lost an FA Cup Third round match.
  • United’s forwards (Rooney and Berbatov) together cost 60 million together.

I don’t really think United will be topping the third division in 10 years. 

Alan Smith and Paul Robinson react to Leeds' Relegation

Don’t you think this would never have come up had Manchester United’s opponents not been Leeds United?  Leeds United are one of the most tragic stories in all of football.  A decade ago they were gracing football’s showpiece, the Champions League.  Their fall was catastrophic .  It had everything really: triumph and success, tragedy, crippling failure, terrible owners and now we see the glimmers of new hope.

The key differences of course is the absence of abject failure for Manchester United.  Leeds United did not achieve the consistent success required sustain the wage bills and other necessities for the premier echelon of world club football. 

Surely a club like Arsenal better fit the bill for a possible club in crisis?  Crippled by obscene building costs they cannot afford to bring in the bright lights of football (provided Wenger decided to) and so results began to go against them.  The talented young prospects they did have suddenly wanted away as quickly as possible. 

With no success whatsoever (and has there really been any of late?) to bring in extra funds Arsenal are left in financial turmoil.  After several unsuccessful bids from well-intentioned buyers (and some not so well-intentioned) they eventually were overcome and went into administration.  The bills just couldn’t be paid.

Okay so Arsenal aren’t likely to plunge into financial hell anytime soon.  But neither are Manchester United.  Again the key difference is success or the lack of it. 

Just to reiterate the only reason the Manchester United were though of in terms of collapse and downfall is because of their opponents who so spectacularly bungled their own success.

Just One Match

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh come on! It isn’t as if Jermaine Defoe reinvented the sport by scoring 5 goals in a match. So after this weekend what have we been told? Some new things…some old things:

Liverpool are in a whole heap of trouble and should be concentrated on damage control.

Jermaine Defoe is super fantastically awesome after … well just one really good game. Oh and Tottenham are better than Liverpool. HOLY CRAP!! I know what I just said.  Check out what I lifted from ESPNSoccernet.

But Redknapp believes no other Englishman can match Defoe for poise and calm in front of goal.

“He’s an amazing finisher,” Redknapp said. “When you look at England strikers, Wayne Rooney’s fantastic – a complete all-round player – but as a finisher, Defoe is the best out there.

Mr. Redknapp with all due respect…no he isn’t.  He’s just not.  He had a great game and will go to the World Cup as a substitute.

Chelsea are boringly good. They seem to just dispatch teams without thinking or breaking a sweat.

Arsenal are yet again proving that they are not the finished product.

Boring boring boring. Bring on the World Cup already. Let’s see some upsets and unsung heroes. I can’t wait to see unpaid players playing for nothing more than the glory of their country. There’s nothing more pure and excellent than that.

Impending Failure, Liverpool are still Crap

Everyone once in a while I whip out one of my “Season Review” DVDs to remind myself of how far my club has come.  Everything has to come to an end though.  Life, and Football, is all about cycles.  In Sport its impossible to maintain total dominance.  There is always a flux where certain players do well, others do poorly and some circumstances just can’t be replicated (I’m thinking a beachball on the pitch that magically deflects a save-able shot into the net).  Sport always changes. That’s why we love it.

I can’t help but think that Chelsea will win the League this year much in the same way United won last year.  They will be the only team that is able to show consistency and therefore limp over the finish line before any of the other teams can drag themselves across.

Liverpool are crap, Arsenal are great at smashing anyone who doesn’t actually matter, Manchester United win despite their best efforts and  Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester City are fooling themselves if they think they’ll get anywhere near the pinnacle of England.

Manchester United will prove to be a challenger but will fail.  As a club they have a wonderful ability to beat teams despite appearing to not care either way (Wayne Rooney apart).  The only way Chelsea won’t win is if they manage to trip themselves up as they have done in the previous two seasons.

The Conclusion:

Chelsea are still winning convincingly

Arsenal are happy to beat teams when they’re allowed to

Manchester United have the momentum of three straight titles pushing them forward and over their opposition, but will it last?

And Liverpool: you may have noticed through the number of times I bring it up but Liverpool are crap.  They most definitely peaked last season.  They should be proud of their runner-up spot to Manchester United last year.  It will certainly be their best finish for some time to come.