Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Not your typical soccer knockout

How did you get injured?

I took my teammates arse to the face.

Ok, moving on....

The Battle for New York begins tonight

With the Red Bulls technically a New Jersey-based team, the battle for New York’s soccer bragging rights may be decided at St. John’s Belson Stadium tonight when the Brooklyn Italians take on the NY Cosmos in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. 

The tournament is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S., and offers amateur teams the chance to test themselves against MLS stars. Founded in 1949, Brooklyn currently sits atop the Northeast region of the National Premier Soccer League, regarded as the fourth tier of American soccer. 

And while the Cosmos no longer have anyone with the star power of legendary striker and now Honorary President Pele, they do include Marcos Senna, part of the Spain team that won the European Championships in 2008.  

The winner may not own the rights for too long though, they will face defending MLS Supporters’ Shield winners the Red Bulls in the next round. But being Kings of New York doesn’t even matter that much in the Open Cup - no team from the 5 boroughs (or Jersey) have reached the final since the Metrostars in 2003, and the last NY team to win it was the Rochester Rhinos in 1999.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pirlo brilliant on free kicks, not so much on drinking

Andrea Pirlo, trashed, slurring and passing out --- a true legend

How do you celebrate winning your country's league, you ask? Stumble on the top of a bus, barely able to stand and throw some of the bubbly at your adoring fans. Rinse, repeat, pass the f*(k out inside the bus for all to see!

Batigol still has it at 45

Argentine legend scores a cracker and celebrates with Santa Claus

Gabriel Batistuta scores on a 30-yard goal in an annual charity match in Italy and is immediately mobbed by grumpy old men.

-Tio Pelotas

Monday, May 19, 2014

Moyes, Van Gaal... Clayton Blackmore?

Van Gaal 

There is no substance to this article at all, just wanted to share some pics from the late 1970s and early 80s that show that any average midfielder can go on to manage Manchester United.

There's hope for Clayton Blackmore yet - especially as these pics suggest he could be their secret lovechild anyway!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bolivar makes history in Libertadores

No Brazilian teams in Copa semis for the first time in 20+ years

The samba beats have gone quiet for now.

For the first time in 23 years, not one representative from Brazil is in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, representing the darkest hour for Brazilian sides since the 2011 edition when four of their teams were ousted in the quarterfinals. It's also a humiliating experience as the World Cup kicks off there in just under a month.

Brazilian teams have lifted the Libertadores trophy for the past four straight years.

This year, there will be a new champion as Bolivia's Bolivar, Argentina's San Lorenzo, Paraguay's Nacional and Uruguay's Defensor Sporting each have not taken home the continent's most coveted silverware.

The focus, however, has to be on the Bolivian side managed by Spain's Xabier Azkargorta, who led the Bolivian national team to the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. The Bolivians have never achieved the levels of success as their other South American cousins on the international side--both country and club--but have boasted several semifinals appearances back in the 1980s with Bolivar, Wilstermann and Blooming. 

The Bolivians played intelligent on the counter at home in their second-leg 1-0 win but also have the skies of La Paz to thank for and also to Lanus defender Carlos Izuierdoz for punching his way out of a fracas in the penalty area that earned him a straight red.

They're two matches away from the final and three from giving Bolivia a bit of glory. They may also have already scored tickets to the World Cup final at the famed Maracana stadium too---Bolivar's president and Miami MLS investor Marcel Claure offered them this bonus if they made it to the semis!

-Tio Pelotas

Will Atletico Madrid end up with nothing?

Atletico Madrid go to the Camp Nou tomorrow with the hope of becoming the first Spanish team other than Real Madrid or Barcelona to win La Liga since 2003-04. Atletico themselves haven't won it since 1995-96.

They only need to avoid defeat.

But should they lose, they will then travel to Lisbon the following Saturday to play city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Lose that one too and they could end up with nothing to show for their fantastic season.

Diego Costa has been the first player in ages to get close to Ronaldo and Mess's haul of goals. Koke has provided more assists than anyone bar Angel Di Maria, and Thibaut Courtois has been so good in goal that he's either going to be the starter for Chelsea or Barcelona next year.

But is this their last chance for a while to win something? Diego Simeone is a coach in demand, Costa seems set to leave along with Courtois, whose loan expires.

Unfortunately, teams who have unexpected success seem to have their best players taken from them before they get the chance to build and threaten the long-term domination of the big boys. No doubt Sevilla will have some of their player cherry-picked after their Europa League success, while Southampton seem set to lose Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw after a great Premier League campaign.

I hope Atletico win La Liga or the Champions League (or both). It's nice to see a great group of players mix it with the big spenders. And while players like Costa and Courtois may find more success in their careers, Atletico fans may not get another chance to win something for another 20 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Who wouldn't want to sh*t on Steve Bruce?

Many people say he looks like his face has been hit by a shovel, and that even though it's happened before, people would like to do it again.

Am I being harsh on Steve Bruce?

He's not a looker, but we won't hold that against him. How could we when his own club even promotes the idea of taking a dump on him?!

Yes, Hull City - King Tigers of Yorkshire - are selling a Steve Bruce toilet seat ahead of their FA Cup Final with Arsenal on Saturday. Here is the evidence...

So you can't actually shit on him, but you could piss on him. Seems a little strange to say the least, and not sure I'd want to compare my johnson to his nose!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Joey Cole, always believe in your soul..

You've got the power to know, you're indestructible, always believe in, that you are Gold...

Ok, enough Spandau Ballet.

Joe Cole has left West Ham again, but seeing as it's World Cup season, why not watch his goal v Sweden in the 2006 tournament.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oops, Man City fans should be embarrassed

First of all, congratulations to Manchester City.

Second point, get some fans with a little class. You're really going to put up a banner with Britney Spears song title on it? You should be deducted points for being bell-ends.

There are plenty of fans that sing songs by rather dubious artists - and various incarnations of Winter Wonderland, Guantanemera, Can't Take My Eyes Off of You etc., but i don't recall any fans bringing professionally made signs to a ground promoting their knowledge of a teen pop star who later became famous for flashing her bald parts - head and tails if you know what I mean.

I don't mind seeing kids cry when their team get relegated, or grown men jumping up and down when they win the league, but seeing a 60 year-old slide on his knees and kiss the pitch after beating West Ham 2-0 at home is a little over the top.

Congrats again to the City players, but if you win it again next year, tell your fans to act like they've been there before. Or Hit Me Baby One More Time and out me out of my misery of watching you celebrate.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Secretly hoping he got smashed in the face!

Don't jump, don't jump. He can't get it up and down from there.

Next time people shout that at you in the wall, just remember that it's easier than lying on the floor!

Maybe someone should hang upside-down from the crossbar next time!

Liverpool hope resting on Andy Carroll

Believe it or not, Andy Carroll actually played 44 games for Liverpool after his 35 million pound move, scoring just 6 goals. But his biggest game for them actually comes this weekend as West Ham travel to Manchester City.

The Reds need West Ham to win, and it could be the big Geordie's chance to prove that he was good enough for a top 4 team, just the timing was all wrong.

It wasn't Carroll's fault that Kenny Dalglish wanted to spend the money on him, and I'm sure Newcastle just threw that number out to see what Liverpool's starting point was.

But what are the chances of West Ham actually getting a result at the Etihad? They have conceded 12 goals in 3 games against City this year, have nothing to play for (apart from trying to finish 12th), can't keep the ball, and are facing a team that has scored 100 league goals this year.City have won 16 of their 8 league games at home, losing only to Chelsea, and West Ham have only won 4 and scored 15 goals away from home all season.

QPR almost beat City two years ago on the final day, but they know how to win the league now, are in great form and know that one goal will probably be enough to win it.

Liverpool have to hope that West Ham can keep it tight, reach half-time at 0-0 and then nick one with 15 or less to go - and maybe it's time for Andy Carroll to show Liverpool what he was really worth.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Belarus not going to Brazil but already won with this

Lithuanian-based striker would have made Zlatan proud

Dzimtry Koub scored a late equalizer for his Trakai side against Lithuania league leaders Zalgiris and took to the stands to commemorate the goal. 

Who is the biggest absentee from the World Cup this summer?

No Robinho, Kaka or Ronaldinho in the Brazil squad for this summer's showpiece - not a huge surprise, but all 3 will be missed, although they are no longer at the peak of their powers.

Who else will be missed this summer?

The easy answer is Zlatan, but we'll exclude him as Sweden didn't qualify.

Any thoughts? The early answer is Francesco Totti, although I'm still holding out hope that he makes the Italian squad.

I think I may be a bit obsessed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Diego shows you (again) why he's the best ever

Most of these challenges would be straight red cards now, some offenders would be facing prison time.

Unbelievable talent.

If the goal at the 3 minute mark is in a proper game, then it's got to be one of the best ever.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Where did it go wrong for Chelsea?

Chelsea can only win the league if Liverpool and Manchester City lose both of their last two games and the Blues win their final game - not going to happen, and it caps a miserable few weeks for Jose Mourinho's men.

But who is to blame? It's hard to look past Mourinho - especially as his mind games (which used to rile everyone) have turned on him and seem to be in his head now.

Jose doesn't seem to know his best team, what tactics to play or how to manage his young stars. Mourinho never used to turn on his own players - and his players always backed him to the hilt. But Eden Hazard speaking out on Chelsea's negative tactics would never have happened in Mourinho's first spell at Chelsea, or his time at Inter Milan.

He's always been good at getting everyone on board, and he usually does it by picking on one of his team's stars or someone who thought they were immune from criticism, as he did with Juan Mata this year.

Chelsea will no doubt strengthen over the summer, and this will be the real test of the Special One (a term I am loathed to use). They need two strikers - Torres, Eto'o and Ba will have to go. Maybe not all of them, but at least 2. If it's Romelu Lukaku, Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani or Didier Drogba (he will be back at Stamford Bridge) who comes in, they need to know exactly where they stand. There can't be a sham like this season. It's hard to watch Fernando Torres so low on confidence - he's a shell of the player he was. And for once, Mourinho hasn't backed his own players.

They also need to strengthen in midfield. Lampard isn't the same player and Nemanja Matic has to become the focal point of the team. Sure, sell David Luiz and get someone more disciplined in, but then Oscar, Hazard, Schurrle and Willian need to produce more. Ramires is a box-to-box guy, but there's not a great deal of quality there. Also, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech have to accept smaller, or non-existent, roles too. They are past their best. There, I said it. Jose needs to build again, although those three will be very hard to replace.

For once, I think Mourinho's team lacked identity this season, and reverted to negative tactics to grind out results. It's not that different from what Rafa Benitez was doing - and Jose won't want to carry on like that.

It's almost like Jose didn't want to win anything this year, read into that what you will.