Archive for March, 2008

Thoughts on The French Friendly

Becks get subbedI must admit, when I saw the starting line up for England before the friendly against France I was a bit dissappointed because it reminding me of the McClown reign. But I will refrain from the Cappello rants because I’m still giving hime benefit of the doubt and also remembering that Rome wasn’t built in one day.

Instead I’d imagine that Cappello was using this game a means to identify which ol’ guard to drop and what formations best utilizes the players he has on hand. Now England performance wasn’t dreadful but it wasn’t inspiring either, they managed to keep ball possession (for the first half anyway) and were a bit structured. But what was quite evident was the lack of width and creativity from the England side and this I think should let Cappello know that the reign of Golden Balls has is neigh. Becks lacked pace, it said a lot when Wes Brown was overlapping him down the flank,  as well as the ability to taken on oppossing defenders one-on-one. Sure his has great pinpoint passing but when you standing around pinging passes you and your team mates become predictable therefore very easy to defend so those passes pose no threat to the opposition. Terry’s performance was quite as forgettable, which is uncommon for the lad, his man-marking wasn’t consistent and his mental lapses occurred more than usual. Micheal Owen in my book shouldn’t be in an England squad again, plain and simple. On the formation front, Cappello needs to drop the lone striker formation business. England does not have an out-and-out center forward and should starting looking to partner Rooney with someone. And what was more telling this that most team in today’s football are more adept and defending lone-striker formations especially when you don’t have a scoring threat from midfield.

So I’m looking to see quite a few changes in terms of personnel on the pitch and formation for the friendly against USA. Speaking of the USA friendly, I was happy to see ol’ golden balls get his 100th cap against France because, to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the media frenzy/arse kissing ESPN would be engaged in towards golden balls had he gotten that cap against the USA.

Ramblings of a Red

Really have nothing much to say on the football side of things, yeah I acknowledge quite a lot has happened since my last post but I’m just not really up to it today. Think it is due to the fact I’m mentally drained from work this past week and hence I’ve kind of tossed my thinking hat out the window for a while. My job is a new gig so I’m left with s**t loads of learning to do and on top of that I have a 1.5hr metro ride back home (traffic is a biatch here in the DC metro area, makes me long for Ohio traffic at times). Yeah so I’m usually a tired wreck by the time I get home. Maybe once things start calming down on the life front, due to relocating to this city cold turkey, things will starting calming down.

But before I bid adieu, a quick shout about my boys at Giggs Lane as they solider on towards another consecutive league promotion. The lads of FC United of Manchester for the last eight have gone 5W-2D-1L plus are setting pretty at 5th with five games in hand. Even more impressive is the club continues breaking of attendance records for their division. The only downer in all this is that it’s nearly impossible to watch or even get live text commentary for lower division clubs from here let alone FCUM. With a solid fan support and good board members the future is bright for Reds! *banging on wood* March On!

Fourth and Eighteen

Hargreaves celebrates

Nope that’s not an NFL down play, just the other race going in the Premiere League. For fourth we have Everton and Liverpool vying for the last Champions League spot and if you had asked me before the start of the season I would have told you that this position was going to Pompey. Then Pompey decided to smoke some serious ganja then sold their best striker in Benjani for the over-rated Defoe. Now Everton are on a tear thanks to the Yak who seems to be scoring at will and the Merseyside lads are looking more balanced with each game. Liverpool seems to have their acts together and seem to be playing well, but I don’t have them finishing fourth. Liverpool has not been playing consistent football all season and this would be their undoing.

The more interesting race has to be for the 18th spot. While some are scrapping to avoid the last spot in the drop zone others are activity seeking it with their poor run of form. With crucial wins by Birmingham and Reading coupled with the fact that both Sunderland and Derby both earned crucial points things are getting interesting. Only five points separates the 18th and 11th positions with 10 games left to play (11 for Tottenham). Both Fulham and Derby are foregone conclusions for the drop so seeing who fills in the final slot is something worth betting on, I’ve got my money on either Newcastle or Sunderland, as the season winds to an end.