Monday, January 21, 2008

The Things I Missed

This weekend was a relative blur for me, and entirely without rhyme or reason. One bad decision turned into a veritable string of questionable choices and bad decisions, the last of which saw me stumble into the Kinsale, as I normally try to do, for a morning with the lads, Pauline, and the three gigantic televisions that showed every interminable minute of the weekend's biggest games [Of course, I would argue that tonight's Liverpool/Aston Villa match is the EPL highlight this week, as it's two teams in the Top 6 squaring off and not a giant pistol-whipping a procession of minnows like Saturday turned out to be].

And so, what did I learn? In-between beers, I watched most of the Man Utd game, and I'll be damned if they don't keep pulling wins out of their arse like a bad episode of Criss Angel: Mindfreak. Rooney's instinctive leg jab at a looping cross from Tevez was delicately placed, and Ronaldo's irritating breakaway tap-in during stoppage time were enough for the Old Trafford Tossers. I began crying in my beer.

Beside me, it was Arsenal romping all over a pathetic Fulham, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see Chelsea steal themselves a win in the last 15 at the head of Claudio Pizarro.

In short, a dismal morning's viewing. It reminds me of my own team's ineptitude to conjure up wins, as magic is the magic word in the EPL. On any day, things might not go your way [read: home draw vs. Wigan, the last-gasp win at Derby], but you have to be able to pull things out of your arse, much like I expect Sheva does after a late-night romp with partner-in-pounds-sterling, Roman Abramovich.

I missed Lassana Diarra's arrogant proclamation, which made me laugh for no other reason than its jarring honesty.

In this day and age, with profits and rich foreign investors snapping up every football club in sight, are we really to believe that Diarra's the only player who has glory and personal success is etched on the brain?

Lassana can't really be blamed for this mindset; the EPL is such a transient league these days [just ask Anelka], and it's hardly to be expected for so many young players who plan their careers nomadically to understand the cultural nuances from one club to the next. Diarra's press conference was the kind of thing you expect a player of Beckham's stature to say, but he's well-versed in how to deal with the media.

I missed the US game against Sweden, which Precious Roy covered far better than I could have ever managed. Jozy Altidore, eh? Anything must be better than Taylor Twellman, right guys?

I missed the MLS SuperDraft, which we hope to cover later in the week.

I missed Titus Bramble's latest pathetic effort, this time against Everton, a team that doesn't deserve the good fortune. When will Wigan learn? Bramble in defense is a mistake akin to the Maginot Line, and he's about as mobile as that was too. The result nudges the Toffee Twats up into 4th place, and while I begrudgingly admit the impressive work of David Moyes, it's still something that defies all logic.

I missed all the hubbub surrounding out-of-favour Bayern striker Lukas Podolski, and his will-he, won't-he trip to Man City in Eriksson's latest effort to further cosmopolitanize his team. Looking at the squad from March compared to now... it's no small feat what Sven's managed to do to turn that team into a serious contender. Podolski's a cracking young player, and I hope it doesn't pan out for Sven and Thaksin, because it will surely strengthen their claim to the final Champions League spot.

And of course, it wouldn't be another day without further fuel on the smoldering mess at Anfield. I'll choose to ignore that until at least tomorrow, at least until the bourbon wears off.

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