Welcome to my second rant folks! I dissect several issues in today’s game and put things into perspective for the most part. I see many seasonal trends and predictable news patterns that I just have to critique. My rant will encompass a broad range of issues that have been selectively chosen through all the countless topics that I could have researched. What’s there to talk about this week? Lots. Before we get started, I’d like to point out that my EPL predictions this weekend were about as poor as the combined performances of both Manchester clubs, Real Madrid, and Bologna. Let’s get started then! WOOOOOOO!!
The amount of biting remarks like “chomping at the bit” or “get some more bite in there” in reference to Suarez has gotten old and cliche for me. Everybody, including Suarez, knows that he is a terrible humanitarian and a pretty good football player (handball vs. Ghana world cup 2010). Let’s talk about his intelligence on the field without referencing his disciplinary record. Suarez is one of the most silky smooth players out on the pitch today, and you would rather have him on your team than not. I don’t care about his diving. Everybody has at least one diver on their team and diving has many levels to it (for example, Courtois would be a level 10 diver as opposed to a player from the second division). Suarez’s comeback against Sunderland had no dives and no bickering, which I fully respected. He also scored a brace, by the way! I’ve seen footage of old games from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and they tackled two-footed, studs up, bone crunching and everything. I actually flinched while watching some of these tackles!!! I half expected to see a broken leg and a player screaming in agony but instead they just got up, adjusted their socks and continued playing. Evolution of the game is clearly evident. Players in the modern game are trying to draw the foul to get a set piece going and this is a zero sum game since every team does it. Compared to the old greats, the current batch of players are a bunch of whining brats who deserve a few kicks to the shins. Keep screaming, it will strengthen your lungs.
Here is a recent example of Courtois doing his best to spare his blushes over the weekend:
People have been extremely appreciative of Gary Neville’s finely detailed football analyses, myself included. He is not the first pundit to put some good analyses of player positioning and movement into English either, but his style seems to be quite fascinating. With that being said, I saw a recent picture of Neville on the England bench sitting next to Hodgson (during the dour 0-0 draw with Ukraine) and it made the wheels in my head go ’round… If Gary Neville knows so much about soccer, why can’t he figure out why England can’t play that well as a unit? Is he just a good problem finder and not a problem solver? (There is a big difference between the two). After this startling epiphany I had, a few days later I watched a video of the ever blossoming punditry of Neville and Carragher in which Neville questions the English style of playing (defending in particular), and says about players like Gerard Pique (who couldn’t make a name for himself in England), “Pique may have failed in England, but he’s still won a couple of champions leagues, European championships, and world cups at the end of the day”….”So I’m not sure if our style of playing is right. I’m sure its not wrong but I’m not sure its right”. Good on you Gary!!!! Go and fix the national team now! Go on!!! NEVILLE FOR ENGLAND!
“Why always me?” Its simple, because you are stupid. Maturity can make such a difference in a star player’s game. I’m not sure who the last player was to get a red card after the final whistle but I’m sure it was probably after a game in which his team must have been eliminated from some competition. Mario has managed to do this within the first five games of the league. Sure, he’s young and playing with passion, but now he is banned for three games, and that includes a big match against Juventus. With only a few games played into the new season, his absence from the next couple of games could be costly at the end, especially given AC Milan’s mediocre start (2 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses). Everybody dreams of playing in the big games and nobody wakes up with a burning desire to play a Sassuolo or an Exeter City (no offence!). Sure, he still has time to learn these lessons. In his defence, there is a fine line between passion and stupidity, but when he finds himself on the wrong side of the line more times than the right side, then an adjustment needs to be made. CR7 had to be tamed to unleash his full potential, and I think he is much better for it. Balotelli would be wise to do the same, or he will be a waste. Was he ever on the same path as CR7 or is he just a player that’s good but not that great? These questions can only be answered by the man himself.
Qatar World Cup:
People were worried about a summer world cup in one of the hottest places on earth. The organizational committee tried to reschedule the competition for the winter, but a clear conflict of interest occurred. Instead, some brilliant rocket scientist decided that the world cup should be played at night instead. Wow!! Great idea. However, its not all smooth sailing from here on in. Evidence has been found that Qatar has been poorly treating its migrant work force, specifically those who are building the stadiums. I think Qatar should be thankful that the world cup has the chance to go ahead as planned in its nation and take the steps necessary to show that they are one of the more developed nations in the world. So let’s get the basic rights covered shall we? Shouldn’t be too hard to get a couple of water tanks to the stadium construction sites should it? I mean, you have the world cup coming to your country, I think a few gallons of water shouldn’t be a bid deal right? Just saying…
Every top manager seems to have come under criticism early in the season. There are the obvious targets, like Moyes, or Mourinho, and then there are the likes of Ancelotti, and Pellegrini. Even Guardiola has come under minor flak at Bayern for incorporating a new system. Even Wenger at Arsenal!!!!! Particularly after Arsenal’s loss to Aston Villa on the opening day and prior to the transfer of Mesut Ozil. They’re a bit quiet now but you know they’re going to be ready to pounce on him when the time comes. Basically, there have been changes to teams and the managers are trying to find the best possible way to adapt to these changes. The season is also a long one and it takes time to settle into a rhythm, accounting for injuries, new transfers, and new tactics. All the fans think they know better than these managers but who are we to say anything at the end of the day? How many of us actually have coaching licenses from FIFA and how many of us would be able to handle high profile players on and off the pitch. I haven’t even mentioned press conferences and pressure from losing a game of magnitude. Let’s take me for example: I think I know better than Moyes (I also know that I’m not the only one). Would I be able to handle anything in the Manchester United dressing room? NO. Media criticism? NO. Player contracts? I would’ve sold Nani, Young, Bebe…..the list goes on…. to absolutely ANYBODY for starters…and that’s a problem, because it can create instability. I should also add that I am not the best at Football Manager either (bless that game, its the best). Every football club manager has to be realistic and work with what he’s got. From this perspective, I understand that Moyes doesn’t have what he needs, so I accept that Moyes is a better coach than me, and probably knows more about football than I do. Everything has to be so carefully micromanaged with a meticulousness that none of us might ever achieve in our lives yet the fan’s backlash can mean a sacking, and a start from the bottom all over again for a new man in charge. Its funny how the sport works isn’t it? I’m sure Paolo Di Canio would agree 😉
A special shout out to Roberto Mancini, the new manager of Galatasaray! At first I wondered why you didn’t stay in the premier league and take the Sunderland job, then I realized that Galatasaray are a team that competes in the Champions League on a regular basis. Smart choice by you, with less media scrutiny. I’m sure we’ll see you back in the EPL one day.
Categories: Football Funnies