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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Sometimes in football you have to score goals."

Well, Liverpool's goal drought appears to be most definitively over, after the 5-1 trouncing of Fulham. Okay, the Pharaohs' own youngster, Michael Brown, scored one of them, but in the second half the rout was on.

From where TDH was sitting, there was only one problem with this state of affairs. It had to do with this man, Juan Manuel Pons. The local Fox Sports man insists on singing ridiculous ex tempore lyrics over canned music every time someone scores a goal. He prefers guitar rock, from classics like "Hey Jude" and "Eye of the Tiger" to more recent hits like Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away."

Senor Pons may be unique in this world, but he's only making a fool of himself while the rest of us turn down the volume. It's a wonder that his partner, one Christian Bassedas, puts up with it. How much are they paying you, Christian? Probably more than we did... except now it's in pesos.

(Thanks to laredonda.blogspot.com for digging up a picture of Pons, that ponce.)

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Whatever happened to the Roma of old? TDH will tell you: no Batistuta, no Delvecchio, no Cassano, no Samuel, no Cafu, injured Montella, injured Totti. It's a wonder they're still heading for a Champions League slot.

In fact, besides Juve and Milan, is Serie A actually much good any more? A decade ago the league was pretty clearly the world's best, or at least where all the top players wanted to go. Now you could argue it's sunk to third. Not enough money? More like not enough sexy football.

7 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I love latin american commentators. They always announce goals in a manner akin to a particuarly OTT porn star: "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! Gol! GOOOAAL!!!! Riquelme!!!! RIQUELME!!!!! RiquelmeRIQUELMERIQUELMERIQUELME!!!
RIQUEEEEELLLLME!!!!!!

7:39 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

So, not sticking up for Serie A, eh? Well, who can blame you. If I have to sit through one more Palermo-Lecce snoozefest... and those pink shirts, ugh.

8:52 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

yeah, nothing to stick up for. It used to be that Italy had at least three superb attacking sides (Milan, Fiorentina in the Batistuta days and Parma back when the Crespo-Veron partnership was still awesome), and a couple of sides you just couldn't score against (Juve, plus ca change; and Lazio).

Now only Milan can really claim to have a world class attack, and only Juve can claim to have one of the top few defences is the world.

The problem was financial mismanagement; back then, Serie A had at world class players spread between about 7 sides (Juve, Milan, Roma, Inter, Lazio, Parma, Fiorentina). Of those teams, two went bust and two more effectively bust, so all of their good players moved to Milan, Juve or Inter.

These are now the only three sides in Italy with any real world class talent on the books, with the exception of loyal home grown players, such as Totti. Toni is not world class; he's good an has been in exceptional form this season, but thats all he is.

As a result, the domestic league is lopsided with an 'Everton' team like the new Fiorentina or Udinese doing well one season and disappearing the next.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous jonathan said...

I'd like to see a bit more South American-style commentary on British TV- it would certainly liven up the League Two round-up on Sunday mornings if the goals from Bury versus Rochdale were accompanied by the commentator wailing in over-excited Spanish at the top of his voice, preferably while dancing a tango on the gantry.

And Christian Bassedas! Now there is a name to conjure with- a certain contender for any worst Newcastle XI of the last two decades (and Lord knows Dalglish signed a good two teams' worth of contenders just on his own...). The guy was an Argentinian international, apparently- watching him, that was almost as unbelievable as the assertion that his contemporary in black-and-white Fumaca once played for Brazil.

Bassedas... Fumaca... I'd better stop now before I start talking about Des Hamilton and have to go and have a long lie-down...

12:54 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Yeah, somehow Bassedas managed about 25 caps, but his name certainly doesn't come tripping off my neighbors' lips when they talk about their stars of the past and present. Then again, you probably wouldn't rhapsodize about Caceres or Balbo, who were starters in the '94 World Cup Squad.

The thing is, there are still plenty of Argentine players whose style is just too different to be of any use in the Premier League. Veron may have been Exhibit A, but think about Sorin or even Riquelme playing against, say, Bolton. I'm guessing they'd both leave the pitch with first-half injuries, after writhing around for about five minutes a piece.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous jonathan said...

Yes, Bolton's patent brand of anti-football would be anathema to a cultured Argentine brought up on the game's higher arts. Their cup tie at West Ham was live on BBC last night, some of it should have come with a health warning. The thing is, Allardyce's men are so predictable- but so damned effective. It goes like this- man in centre wins ball, passes ball out wide. Wide man hurls cross into box. Davies heads down. Speed, Stelios, or other willing, balding scurrier stabs at half-chance with nearest available part of anatomy. Repeat forty times per game- result, two goals average. The only variation is when the wide man wins a long throw for Nolan or Jayjay to hoy in- or passes back to the full-back who hurls in an even longer bouncing bomb. It was certainly a tonic to see this brutally efficient unit seen off (just, mind) by a West Ham team displaying all of that club's proud footballing traditions. Young Etherington's wingplay, for instance, was a delight (I know, I sound like someone from the 1950s, but it was!). That Israeli midfielder of theirs whose name escapes me caught the eye as well.

4:22 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Yeah, Benayoun's a quality player. The other Israeli in the squad, Yaniv Katan, also has some exciting skills. But for me, the story was Harewood's endless workrate. Too bad there aren't any friendlies left to try him out in the England team - though I'll admit to being late to his cause.

4:40 PM  

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