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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bathing in a sea of football

Oh, it truly is a fiesta of football for TDH these days. What better way to kick things off than with a week in the UK? TDH saw a bit of Chelsea, a bit of Manure, a slice of the SPL and other bits and pieces. So far, so good.

Yes, TDH is joining much of the English media in salivating over this season. So many good players added to so many teams, with the middle of the table - perhaps up to the top two spots - lying wide open. And even at the top, nothing is certain. Manure looked fallible this week. Defenders have twigged that keep Kiki Ron out wide may neutralize much of the threat. Chelsea seem to play better without Ballack and Sheva (no surprises there, eh?), and Alex - a player whom TDH loves - will boss the back with Carvalho or Terry. But they'll need to score more than last season, even with Pizarro occasionally playing as a lone striker.

TDH took in a bit of Scotsport early this week, witnessing a pretty good performance by Beasley with Rangers and the dismantling of Falkirk by Celtic. The highlight was definitely Celtic's Nakamura, who has, in TDH's opinion, joined the elite club whose members have hitherto included Juninho Pernambucano and one David Beckham. At his best, he's automatic. Just like Beckham the other night in the Superliga semifinal. As the Argentine commentators said, his teammates mobbed him as though he'd just won the World Cup. Nice that he can feel that kind of love for once (at least since 1999 against Bayern).

Adding to TDH's joy at Newcastle's favorable start has been the top-of-the-table performance of Independiente, which seems to have found an able strike force in 20-year-old Ismael Sosa and German Denis, aka The Goofy-Looking Human Tank. Rolfi Montenegro is, of course, pulling all the strings.

In other news, TDH has been wondering who on earth is striking for Bayern these days. Pizarro is at Chelsea, Makaay is back in Holland at Feyenoord and Santa Cruz is at Blackburn.... Well, they finally picked up Klose, but who's the mystery man? None other than Luca Toni. They've both scored already. Still, TDH isn't expecting big things from Bayern in the Champions League this year. If either of these guys gets crocked, there's no one except Podolski to pick up the slack. Compare that to Chelsea, Barca, etc. and you'll see what TDH means.

Finally, TDH watched "Goal II" on the plane on the way back to Buenos Aires. Not having seen the first part in the series, TDH had to make do with few shots of Tyneside and the Toon faithful. But the film was almost engaging enough to have TDH rooting for the Merengues in a Champions League final, somewhat strangely at the Bernabeu, even more strangely against Arsenal. Rutger Hauer played the Real coach-of-the-week, a stoic Dutchman who didn't seem too differend from Bernd. Again strangely, there was a shot of (an unidentified) Wanderley Luxemburgo prowling the sideline during the supposed cup final. Well, fair enough; to the film's credit, it does let you dream, specifically of being a star boy footballer in a man's body. To judge by the closing credits, there are more "Goals" to come.


Anonymous Palms said...

Just to comment on the match last saturday. Disappointing sure. i believe Sir Les made a solid point when he said you could have thrown a blanket over our front three during the game. the blame has to lie with martins though. I'm assuming he was supposed to be playing wide left but was usually in viduka's pocket.

the midflield had no creativity whatsoever. i thought having three hard tackling bastards behind the strikers would be how we'd be playing away from home. Milner was providing the only spark.

however, the consensus seems to be that in the last few seasons this would be a game we would have lost. So it's a step in the right direction. i'd agree with that.

5:50 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Palms, I shared your dismay at seeing Milner as the primary playmaker. That's what Nobby, Emre and, yes, Kieron were for. Hopefully when Emre is healthy, Big Ham will use him.

Stay tuned for England (and Argentina) match reflections....

4:49 AM  

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