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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some pride, at last

TDH was disappointed to see a team with five Yanks lose at the weekend, even if it gave our Toon lads a much-needed three points. The names on the scoresheet were the right ones, at last, and one can only hope that it will continue. Keegle seems to have found a working formula, even if there's a huge hole in midfield. If it works with a couple more scrub teams, we're safe. Just.

But what pleased TDH even more - because let's face it, with the Magpies any pleasure is always bittersweet - was how those same Yanks bounced back in Poland on Wednesday. Okay, Poland is not one of Europe's greatest teams, even if they are going to Euro 2008. Still, taking them apart 3-0 in their own house has to mean something. It wasn't even an all-European team for us, just a decent XI assembled from a combination of our top division stars and a few standouts from MLS.

That success, combined with the good turnaround by the A-Team in the Olympic qualifiers, was enough to make TDH dream about the future. Who's the A-Team? Why, Adu and Altidore, of course!


There were quite a few other tasty friendlies, though the only one that made it to TDH's screen was France v England. (It was shocking, really, that TDH couldn't watch Italy v Spain in a country that's about 60 percent of Italian and Spanish ancestry.) So, once again, TDH tuned in with interest to see what Fabs would conjure.

This time, it was disappointment. With Becks and James in the side, it could have been a match from two or even four years ago - but for the tireless Gareth Barry (he's the white Ledley King!). At least Bentley got a run-out in the second half, though his crosses were pitifully low for a guy with fresh legs. Downing did a lot of running and ended up nowhere - TDH is still disappointed, after he raised expectations so high in that Premier League match a few years ago against, um, us.

All in all, it was the standard idea-less England performance to which we've become so accustomed. Mix it up, Fabs!


TDH also took in Egypt v Argentina, a fighting performance by the African champs that only came undone thanks to the native talent of a certain ex-Independiente player who goes by the best three-letter nickname since El Cid. The kid is on fire. Did anyone see what he did to Sevilla at the weekend? A monster. Soon we will all forget about Messi, at least that's what TDH's Kun-krazy Spanish neighbor says.

And there may be something to it. Messi is so direct, storming towards the goal like a basketball forward charging through the lane. But Aguero improvises like Charlie Parker, spinning off long runs in unpredictable directions, different every time. Either way, Argentina has some weapons. Too bad Basile's overall setup was a total mess. Embarrassing, really. He has to go. Soon. TDH hears Pedro Troglio is available....


Yes, Troglio is gone and TDH is praying for Russo as his replacement. If Passarella gets the job, TDH might follow a friend's example and become a fan of Ferro Carril Oeste. Good old Ferro. It's a club on the tail end of two decades of decline, but a day out at the stadium - pitifully empty these days but with a vociferous and loyal tribuna popular - sure is a pleasure. They have cool jackets, too.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

Hi TDH - sorry it's been so long since I've visited these pages. It's been a long road, but I'm finally getting over my post-World Cup 2006 footballing ennui. Just in time to see Milan's end as a global power. Anyhoo.

I did see El Kun v. Sevilla - what a brilliant player. I love your description of him as a footballing Charlie Parker. He is marvelous, there were many moments where he received the ball and I thought he must be someone else because 1) he just had the ball on the other side of the pitch ten seconds ago, and 2) he's centre forward!

Champions league is dulldulldull now. I hope united v. arsenal in the final, with United winning, they're the only teams with a really exciting style. thoughts?

8:22 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Oh, come on now, Mara! Barca has its moments going forward, even if the back is stitched together with chicken wire. I can't understand why Bojan gets the nod over Giovanni, but I suppose he has been producing lately. There's talk of Giovanni going to England - that would spice things up.

12:34 AM  

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