Roundup from the last....while....

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=305485&cc=5901"> Porto player admits that they were a bunch of diving, cheating cunts


Seriously, this is news in the same way as "Giants pitching staff: not so good" is news. This was a minor headline on Soccernet, but it underlies a major problem with the modern game. The sport is exponentially faster than it was even in the 1980s or so...the referee has all he can handle in trying to keep up with everything. A convincing dive will fool even the best referees at least some of the time, and often, all it takes is one or two in an important situation to turn a game completely around.  The bottom line is that Porto cheated to win their two major European trophies. I remember in particular a moment where a player collided with the legs of Porto goalkeeper Vitor Baia, who then promptly went down like a sniper had hit him...clutching his face. It's shameful, it's unsporting and how they can feel even the slightest bit proud about their "accomplishments" is beyond me. I vividly recall Croatia's national team (they turned diving into a fine art in the 1998 World Cup) defending the charges against them after their third-place finish in the aforementioned 1998 World Cup, to which they said it was simply "gamesmanship."

You call it "gamesmanship," I call it "cheating."

The history books will show forevermore that FC Porto were the European Champions last season, and the UEFA Cup champions the season before that. They also will show that Croatia finished in third place at the 1998 World Cup forevermore. And, that knowledge will forvermore make me just that much more sick to my stomach every time I think about it. I love soccer, it's far and away my favorite sport, but it has in those "champions" three black marks against it that will never go away.

Now, if only someone could somehow strip Sepp Blatter of his position as FIFA head honcho...

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=305782&cc=5901"> Charlton Athletic's Alan Curbishley in essence refuses England job should it come up

Well, first of all, I'd like to think that they change his mind if the FA does relieve Sven-Goran Eriksson of the position. You see, the Swede is in trouble for having an affair with an FA secretary...ahhh, how very British Parliament of him. That right there is why it must be so frustrating to be an England fan...they'll put up with a guy who has no idea what "tactics" means in Kevin Keegan, they'll put up with a New Age lunatic who forced his players to see faith healers and said publicly that handicapped people probably deserve their fate for karma-based reasons in Glenn Hoddle, they'll put up with that, but what about the fact that Eriksson just isn't cut out to be a national team manager? England already has enough problems overcoming their tendency to play 1950s long-ball style when they panic, they don't need to have a manager who actually ENCOURAGES this behavior. England is very much a nation that needs a general to lead the charge, to unlock the sheer fighting spirit that they possess, the spirit that most nations just don't have. However, they need to combine that with someone who has an idea of modern tactics...and who can man-manage to boot.

Now, Curbishley would be the PERFECT choice based on those qualities I just outlined. Charlton Athletic has no money, a tiny stadium and were completely without top-flight pedigree until he came along. Outside of Dean Kiely in goal and the now-departed Scott Parker, Charlton have no players that you'd think of if you named 50 people at each position. However, they keep finishing higher and higher every year (even making a nice run at a Champions League place last season until they fell apart at the end...mainly thanks to those gutless fucks at Chelsea poaching Parker away from them...and Parker himself for being enough of a piece of shit to accept more money to sit on the end of Chelsea's bench, right after signing a long-term contact with Charlton) in no small part because Curbishley is without a doubt the best young (relatively) managerial talent in England today. Simply put, the man deserves the job, and Charlton have already said that he'd be free to go if the job was offered to him (a classy move from a classy organization). It'd be sad to see him leave Charlton, as they are kind of my unofficial second team in the Premiership, and I'd love to see them keep battling their way to even a UEFA place, hopefully next season. The FA doesn't need to bother with where Eriksson has hidden his willy, but they DO need to bother with recognizing the fact that he's had his shot, he's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's not the man for the job, and they have a guy RIGHT FUCKING THERE who would be a much better bet to lead England to a place somewhere in the time zone of their fans' often-unrealistic expectations.

Then again, "unrealistic expectations" is sort of thrown out the window when you look at Greece this year, yeah?

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=305797&cc=5901"> Arsenal boss believes Patrick Vieira will stay with the club 


I admire Patrick Vieira as a player. How could you not? He's combative, he's eternally skilled, he's the engine that makes the team go in the middle of the park. He's fought for the Arsenal crest on his shirt, and he's been a big reason why the Gunners have achieved what they have in the past seven years (or whatever it's been).  

However, a reporter from Spanish rag Marca gave him a chance to say once and for all that he was staying with Arsenal. Two words -- "I'm staying" -- could have put an end to all the controversy, all the speculation, all the fucking biting at fingernails wondering whether our captain and best player (maybe even more so than Thierry Henry, as far as importance to the team goes) is going to fuck off to Spain...with no time to get a proper replacement. Hell, he could have said "I'm going," and that would have been fine. Most Gunners fans are savvy enough and intelligent enough to understand that maybe he needs a new challenge. I like to think that most of us would thank him for all he's done with the club, and wish him luck with the least classy organization in the sport. If Vieira goes, fine, but Madrid's tactics over the years in their efforts to land him have been underhanded, vile, and absolutely fucking disgusting. But, Vieira ducked the question, and this story drags on...and on...and on...and on...and on. I just don't care one way or another.

Whatever PV4 has done for us in the past, he's a fucking TWAT for letting the club and all of us Gooners twist in the wind like this. Fuck you. you prick.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=305756&cc=5901"> Celtic 2-1 Manshit United

Yes, it's a meaningless friendly. Yes, neither side was the real starting 11. That said:


Choke on that, you Mank fucks.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=305763&cc=5901"> Dutch legend Marco Van Basten named Netherlands' national team coach"

You poor, poor, poor bastard. Great player, maybe he'll be a great coach, but Holland's talent is matched and even exceeded by their rampant egos and immaturity. They will continue to make quarter and semifinals just on talent alone, and then they're going to completely implode in the clutch (which does exist in soccer, unlike baseball) because when it gets down to those most important of matches, you have to have 11 people fighting and clawing and willing to do anything for each other. When Player A is crying and throwing his rattle because Player B won't pass him the ball enough, well, don't be in too big of a hurry to build that trophy case.

And, that's your lot. Fuck off.    :)


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