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Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Chelsea look like they've got a couple more gears left in the locker."

For several years, the marquee match-up in the Premiership was Manure v Snal. Then, for four matches all bound up in a brief moment in time, it was Chelski v Snal. As the current season dawned, surely it was Chelski v Rafapool; the two continental managers, the honors shared from the previous season, the young talents - all the ingredients were there.

It was truly a great tie, without the ugly violence of Fergie's neanderthals and Arsene's unseeable incidents. But then something happened: the stuffing went out of Liverpool. Call it over-reliance on Harry Kewell, call it the failure to recognize a rubbish crop of strikers, call it what you will - they're not as fearsome as they once seemed.

And on the other side, Chelski only ever looks vulnerable on a corner kick. Even with Kerrrowwch - there's that Argentine accent again - up front, the threats were neutralized by Terry and the octopus also known as Ricardo Carvalho (that's him in the center). Gallas got into the act, too, pulling down the back of Cisse's shirt to restrain his jump unbeknownst to the referee.

So the champs are back in the "W" column against what used to be their toughest opponent, and there are only two things left to do: 1) wait for April 29, when Manure visit Stanford Bridge, and 2) hope that L'il Ron and Eto'o are back in the squad when Barca meet Chelski in the Champions League, because suddenly the Catalans aren't looking so hot without them.


Playing as the lone striker in front of Chelski's four offensive midfielders, Rice Crespo (6' 181 lbs) was at his predatory best on Sunday. His opposite number in the Argentine squad, Julio "The Gardener" Cruz (6'1" 176 lbs), has been scoring regularly lately for Inter. So with a couple of bulky strikers, will Argentina play long-ball in Germany?

The locals say no. In fact, they bemoan the supposed fact that they can't play the "pelotazos" like England. They argue that they have to build everything up on the ground. But is that just a result of Romanitis? If TDH were coming up with a strategy to beat the Dutch, a bit of long-ball battering might figure into the equation. What say you, loyal readers?


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I though Crespo was just outstanding in the game yesterday. His second disallowed goal should have stood, and it was beauty of a lob.

Carvalho, despite the odd shirty moment, looks as good as he ever has at the moment, and Gallas must surely be one of the best defenders in the world - he can play in any back-four position and look world class in it.

don't know very much about Julio Cruz, but lumping the ball up to Crespo would be suicidal - you only need to watch a single match to realise that he plays best with crafty midfield.

8:46 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

That Crespo really had a second goal disallowed was a bit questionable, because Reina stopped trying after the flag went up. You could see him put his arms down just before the lob. It was a beautiful lob, though.

If Crespo played with Cruz, Cruz would be the target man. Crespo would still be able to poach, I think. But Argentina could theoretically play the same formation as Chelsea, with Tevez sitting in for Joe Cole and Aguero for Robben.

4:19 PM  

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