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Monday, August 27, 2007

Could be better, could be worse

Well, for a moment there TDH really thought that we'd grabbed three points on Teesside. It wasn't to be. TDH joined Big Ham in feeling a bit like the result was a loss, not a draw, especially with the new injuries. That said, TDH couldn't understand Big Ham's affection for Carr, and the alternatives must be better. And moreover, 5 points from 3 matches puts us on course for 63, which was good enough for fifth last year.

TDH and friends watched a bit of almost everything over the weekend: England, Italy, Spain, Germany, Argentina, even snatches of Mexico and MLS. Despite the overseas pundits' contention that Manure are stronger than ever, they seemed weak to the experts assembled Chez TDH. The offence of Tevez-Scholes-Giggs played like an inverted triangle, Tevez drifting over to his preferred wing while no one assumed full striking duties up front. Without Rooney, Saha - oh, for chrissake, what TDH really means is without Van Nistelrooy - Manure doesn't seem like such a threat. So, Chelsea to walk it without breaking a sweat, Liverpool a couple of strides behind. (P.S. Spurs deserved at least a point, as did City. No justice in football, eh?)

Over in Spain, it's anybody's guess. What if Riquelme goes to Atleti? Another Argentine contingent will be spoiling for a title. Barca can't score with all of its don't-call-them-galacticos, and TH must be a little surprised to be Messi's sub. (He shouldn't be, of course; both players score goals by outrunning the defense, drawing the keeper out and slotting home somewhere between the 6 and the 18.) Real have lost their service with Becks in Los Angeles, and Valencia looked woeful at Villareal despite their own cavalcade of stars. Wide open.

Italy is showing some life after some boring and scandal-plagued years. Could you tell that Juve were glad to be back in Serie A? Could you ever. TDH doesn't like the big Juve names much, but there's something to be said for the loyalty of these players. With Del Piero, Trezeguet, Nedved and Buffon firing on all cylinders, Livorno didn't stand a chance. (Ibrahimovic? Who he?) And then there was Milan, another team playing with a squad virtually unchanged from last year. Their class still shows, though TDH wouldn't necessarily put money on them to repeat.

The TDH experts concluded that there really was only one team in Germany. And Bayern with Ribery in the mix was not un-entertaining. But Bochum v Hamburg was simply a mess, barely worthy of being called football. Check, please.

Back here in Argentina, TDH's panel grudgingly accepted that Independiente was the lone "candidato" to win it all this half-season, but TDH doesn't want to get excited yet. El Rojo is a streaky team, and bad streaks can follow good, even in a 19-game tournament. Vamos a ver.

Finally, TDH sends congratulations to all the Yanks who got the start in the top leagues over the weekend, and especially to Clint Dempsey for scoring early for Fulham. The ranks are growing....


Anonymous Entretanto said...

Be patient with Independiente, Boca just woke up and it's in its way.

7:03 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Yeah, I'm sure Boca can beat anyone as long as they get an own goal and the referee refuses to call penalties against them.... Bitter? Me? Naaahhh.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Entretanto said...

Stop crying my dear friend.

4:01 PM  

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