Lots to talk about today...

Three things to talk about...


2. It would probably be easier to just C&P my thoughts on the Newcastle-Arsenal match from a post I made at the Arseblog forums:

"Pat's is right...if you disagree with the Cunting Doomed brigade, you should explain why.

I missed the first 13 minutes or so of the match, but from that moment until the first half ended, we played very well. Keep in mind that we were away at one of the harder venues to play at in the league, and the opposing side was fighting to keep their manager's job. Newcastle gave every ounce they had today, and in the first half, Arsenal were matching them. The back four were getting stuck in, and more importantly, the passing was working. We were connecting on those diagonal through-balls that decimate defenses, and we were getting chances. Remember, Given came up with that absolute wonder save on Henry's volley, and there were one or two other instances where we should have scored.

I do not like Gilberto much. I think Flamini is a better option at this point.

As stated, the red card was shite, and I don't understand how you people can think that we should be dominating a game on the road in that venue against a team fighting for their manager's life with 10 men. That's ludicrous. But, even still, we did really well to get that one chance - brilliant run by Kolo, even better pass from Ljungberg, and RVP did well to get open. Really, he should have scored, but they did do everything right until RVP missed.

And, to give the other mob credit, they played well, stuck to their game plan, and Solano's goal was a beauty. Not much Jens could have done on that one.

As an aside, Souness should be at the very least fined for leaving Parker on. He seemed to have a pretty obvious concussion, and leaving someone out there who even *might* be concussed is reprehensible...I don't care how important the game is for them.

But, back on topic, I am happy with the team's effort and performance...I'd be far more upset if this were Sunderland or Aston Villa (I don't understand the mindset that every team in the league other than Cuntski, RedübercuntsfromSurrey USA and Scouse Cunts are shite...honestly people, they're all professionals out there, and sides like Boro or these guys are a threat on their day).

What I would concede is that January and next summer are crucial for this team."

Also, I had said during the game that while I defend referees 90% of the time because they often take stick that they don't come close to deserving, Dermot Gallagher had a nightmare out there today...he really doesn't know what he's doing.

And now, the main event...thoughts on the FIFA is Fucking Corrupt Sweepstakes...err...I mean the World Cup Draw.

Group A:

Surely, the top and bottom of this group is already settled. Germany should run the table here, being the host nation. Ecuador on the other hand is almost incapable of winning outside of high-altitude games, so I tend to think they'll go 0-3 or 0-2-1. The battle for second place is far more interesting than people think it is, though. Naturally, the Eurocentric types would believe that Poland will roll over Costa Rica, but believe us guys, we have to fucking play them every qualifying round. They're extremely fast, and they play the kind of balls-to-the-wall offense that is rare in Europe. Poland is an excellent side, but they may have some problems coping with the Ticos' firepower.

Prediction: Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador.

Group B:

This one is not quite as straightforward as Group A, barring the bottom side (I work with about 4 people from Trinidad, and they're to a person all just happy that their boys are in Germany). England has more talent than Sweden, but the Swedes are better-coached (some pub teams are better-coached, I'd imagine). Paraguay is the wild card here...they no longer have the legendary Jose Luis Chilavert in goal, but they've got some attacking talent, most notably Roque Santa Cruz. That said, I think experience will win out in the end, and Paraguay will be the unlucky ones to miss out.

Prediction: England, Sweden, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago.

Group C:

Ahh, the inevitable Group of Death. This happens every time, and leads to questions about why they do a random draw in the first place. My feeling is that they should do a setup based on seedings, so that everyone has a fair shake relative to their place in the footballing world. Of course, that would require FIFA to be fair and not corrupt...and, let's be honest -- I'll have a wild threesome with Kate Beckinsale and Keira Knightley before THAT happens. Anyway, this one is almost impossible to predict, so I'll go out on a small limb. S&M will prop up the rest of the group, and the Ivorians will snatch a draw with Holland, allowing Argentina to win the group. The Argentines won't wipe the floor with anyone, but they are experienced and talented enough to handle their business and win all three games. Holland are also an exceptional outfit, and Marco van Basten has done brilliantly to improve them, with his bold move of dropping the big-named deadwood and replacing them with younger guys like Boularhouz at the back and Kuijt up top. But, that move has also made them fairly inexperienced at the international level, so second place it is then. In any other group, I would have picked the Ivorians to advance. But, sadly for my man Kolo Toure (and less sadly for that prick Dider Drogba), they'll be the odd ones out.

Prediction: Argentina, Holland, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro.

Group D:

You know, it was an absolute fucking joke that Mexico was seeded, and the USA was not. Again, corrupt imbeciles left to their own devices come up with bullshit like that. If it had been the other way around, we would have gotten this joke group instead of them. And, how must the Ivorians or the Dutch feel to be in their group while Mexico and Portgual get to cruise here? No disrespect intended to Iran and Angola...they did well to get here, and there won't be any poor teams in Germany. That said, it's hard to imagine it shaking out in any other way than what I'm predicting.

Prediction: Portugal, Mexico, Iran, Angola

Group E:

Fuck you very much, FIFA. We are of course the underdogs here, but certainly capable of providing an upset. So too is Ghana actually, as they are a good side who deserves to be here (most notably with Cuntski midfielder Michael Essien leading the charge). That said, it's hard to imagine Italy not winning the group, and while I'm excited about the squad that we'll be sending (and excited about Bruce Arena's ability to coach, motivate, and put his best pieces out there in all situations), I think the Czech Republic has just a little too much talent. Specifically, I think Pavel Nedved will be the difference (there's also the small matter of them having arguably the best goalkeeper in the world in Petr Cech). If Nevded and/or Cech somehow gets hurt and misses the WC, then I think we finsh second and progress. Barring that though, I think we'll be a victim of a bullshit draw.

Prediction: Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Ghana

Group F:

Brazil gets a joke group again? No, go on! I'm fucking STUNNED. Second place, however, is not as straightforward as it seems. It's a choice between three sides who are pretty much at the same level, and to me, it's effectively a crapshoot. So, I'll go with an upset special here and take Japan to progress.

Prediction: Brazil, Japan, Croatia, Australia.

Group G:

This is another embarrassment, considering how overly strong some of the other groups are. France will get through this group with their eyes closed, that's for sure.

But, it's another situation where there is no clear second-place finisher. Switzerland showed in qualifying that they can at least hold top sides to stalemates, and South Korea is coming off a 4th-place finish (albeit as joint hosts with Japan, but then again, those joint hosts only made it to the second round). Togo is of course the great unknown, and it's certainly possible that the other sides will take them far too likely. I like some of the Swiss players, especially Arsenal's own Philippe Senderos. Alex Frei is a decent striker as well, but I just have a sneaking suspicion that the Koreans will snatch a win over them and take second.

Prediction: France, South Korea, Switzerland, Togo

Group H:

Spain are perennial chokers at major tournaments, but even they can't fail to win this group. Well done again, FIFA. However, unlike the other weaker groups, there is a clear second place winner here, though. The Ukraine has arguably the best player in the world in Andrei Shevchenko, and I remember Alexander Shovkovsky being a quality goalkeeper as well from Arsenal's CL clashes with Dynamo Kiev.

Prediction: Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

If those predictions came off, here is how the quarters and beyond would look:


Costa Rica




Czech Republic


South Korea

The quarters would be:




South Korea

Semis are:



Italy beats Brazil in the final, Germany beats Holland for third.


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