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Friday, May 26, 2006

"I can't see us getting beat now, once we get our tails in front."

And it all started out so promisingly. England's B team looked to be tearing the Belarus squad apart in the first half of their competition at the newest stadium in the Premier League. Downing and Carrick were bombing the balls in, and Lennon was looking like, like, well, like The Special One probably dreamed SWP would look like. With Sol and Jamie at the back, what could go wrong?

Well, plenty. Sol was fouled going for a header in the 19th, and then Shtanyuk the Manyuk handled in the 60th. Both were such clear penalties that they could have been seen from the moon, but somehow Ireland's man in black, Dave McKeown, missed both. And then there was the freak injury on Robert Green that led to the first goal for the opposition. Seemed a bit unsportsmanlike, but it all happened so quickly that TDH isn't quite ready to condemn Kutuzov to football hell.

Then, after Sven's usual billion substitutions, came the second goal. Loyal readers, please pay attention. Dawson may have been the one who failed to block the shot, but it was HARGREAVES who lost his man. HARGREAVES. Let's not forget.

In his usual perverse way, Sven will probably be happy. He got to see virtually all his players on the pitch for at least 39 seconds each. And his late selections - Downing, Lennon and Walcott especially - showed deadly speed and not a little finishing potential. Yet TDH is getting more excited, too. The beaky Swede has given himself a scary arsenal of scoring talent. Combined with a deep defense, it's looking like a quality team indeed.

Maybe that's why TDH hasn't mentioned Wine Hrooney yet. It looks like he's out of the first round of the tournament, at least. Yet at this point, he's looking more and more like another option, rather than the only one. He has more game-turning ability than the other guys, but it hardly looks like England will have a hard time finding goals.


Halfway around the world, in Melbourne, 95,000 people saw the Aussies take out the European champions. That team is going to be pumped. In fact, Hiddink seemed pumped enough to fly all the way to Germany under his own power. Meanwhile, about a zillion people showed up to see the Argentine squad's bus pulling into the airport. Too bad they couldn't get a direct flight to their training base in Italy....


The news that "Moro" Morientes (such a clever nickname) is on his way to Valencia will come as ominous news on Tyneside. The Kop will definitely be in competition for a top striker. Rafa's too clever to sign a Horseface who's getting long in the tooth when he can pick up a promising youngster and ink Robbie Rifle for pennies. But hey, TDH would be happy with a couple of years of Horseplay, if that's the best Freddie can do.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

How did Walcott the Young look? I've seen enough of Lennon to see that he'll trouble any defence, but most reports have said Downing was at best decent.

Kutuzov used to be on the youth / reserve books at Milan. For a while, there were thoughts that he could be a Shevchenko type, with a bit of extra power, but he never made the grade.

9:44 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

The Huxtable son was definitely fast, definitely not afraid to take on defenders, and with a snap shot. He didn't have any breathtaking runs, but he looked like a live wire.

So, you're playing down Downing's performance so there's no threat to Young Joe? I thought Downing's link-up with Mr. Tap-Up looked like it could develop into something truly dangerous....

2:04 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

oh god.

I'm so fucking depressed.

I might not watch the world cup now. I don't think I can bear to think about football in a world where Shevchenko isn't a Milan player.

oh god.

5:35 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

So, how much will Sheva go for? Any ideas, TDHers? He'll be 30 for most of the upcoming season. He's got two, maybe three top-quality years left. Most of the money will have to go into his salary. But then again, this is Chelski - every selling team's favorite cash machine. Let's say 30 million pounds? They'd probably get half of it back with the shirts alone.

9:47 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Strange thing... some comments not showing up. Will advise.

5:21 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

well, milan have quoted a ludicrously low price of 35 million pounds for the best striker since Marco Van Basten, and Milan's second highest goal scorer, after the legendary Gunnar Nordhal, the highest active scorer in European competition, the guy who scored our winning penalty in the 2003 champs league final, the only foreigner ever to top score serie a in his first season...

i don't think I can go on.

*weeps bitterly*

5:47 PM  

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