Monday, December 1, 2008

UF Introduces: Market Madness!

Ronaldo knows what it's like to fall fast

Football is a crazy game these days. The emotional capital on the line every week is staggering. The modern consumer needs a steady hand to guide the way. Unfortunately, that individual has come to the wrong place. This is an American soccer blog, and like Americans do, we suffer our pain in silence, then go out and gamble with other people's money. (Sub-prime Spurs! Get me every time!)

So without further rabble, we present today the first edition of UF's Market Guide. What to Sell! What to Buy! And Everything in between...


...until we freak out on national television and tell you to sell the kids for food.

Buy Portsmouth:
Make fun of Fratton Park all you like, the AC Milan game was magic. That coupled with white-knuckle ride win over Blackburn is just what they needed. Tony Adams has his first win; now he can build. Harry Who? (Caveat Emptor: they may have to sell the first team's shin pads for rent money come January.)

Buy TSG 1899 Hoffenheim:
Another impressive win this weekend. Their American educated, trained, nourished striker Veded Ibisevic, who happens to play his international footie for Bosnia (d'oh!) is a scoring machine. With pedigree that likens them to a sort of German Reading, they could go into the winter break atop the league (Caveat: Like Bayern Munich so many years ago, English Reading will host Norwich City this season.)

Buy Antonio Cassano:
The guy's good on the pitch and (as the intrepid Lingering Bursitis explains) hilarious off it. Like we needed another reason to want to go to Spain...

Buy Emile Heskey:
This is actually a personal message to Redknapp and Levy. Buy him from Wigan in January. Spurs need to someone to link the midfield to their one-touch strikers and Modric isn't reliable enough.

Buy Chelsea fans:
Like Leprechauns, they exist, but are increasingly difficult to find. The Blues supporter is rare and fantastic entertainment. Alternately despondent, reflective, nostalgic (make it Special again!), and whiny (offside!)... and they're in first place still, 'Pool pending.

Buy Maradona:
There is but one inalienable truth in this whole debate. The Argentinian players looooove him. No matter how stupid or perverse he acts (to be fair, he was subdued, naturally it appeared, during the Scotland match) they will continue to love him. And when you've got that quality of athlete, a bit of motivation could be more valuable than all the tactics in the world.

Sell! For Chrissakes, Sell it all! Light it on fire, just be done with it!!

...until next week, when everything bounces back but your checking account. Sawwrry.

Sell Real Madrid:
Bernd Schuster is a loss away from the salida, and losing to Getafe on Saturday surely doesn't help. Also, it looks like Rafa, their top target, is signing a new deal at Anfield, meaning they're fucked royally in their search for someone new. They might end up with Juande Ramos (silence)(crickets)(a distant scream)...

Sell Roy Keane:
sayeth LB, "Really, you're almost done. Bolton embarrassed you at home. Bolton! Unless you unleash the feral rage of your playing days instead of this new zen calm you display on the sidelines, you're looking for a job in January."

Seriously, LB has a great point. I understand that the guy is mellowing with age, but this is ridiculous. It will end badly. Either as described above, or with a training pitch assault/Joe Kinnear-inspired presser. The prawns are cooked, Roy, just need to toast the bread now...

Sell Paul Ince:
LB: "You should have stayed at MK Dons." Paul Ince: "I should have stayed at MK Dons."

Sell "6+5":
Is it entirely Evil? No. Does it have a chance of happening? No. Platini needs to read up on globalization, etc. Protectionist policies, especially when there are high-end elements of money and nationalism involved, just don't kick it in the modern world. If the American auto industry can die, French league football can suck a bit more. (no offense, NYK)

Sell American soccer's ability to pick up on home grown talent:
And to Bosnia, no less. Both Vebad Ibisevic (from Hoffenheim, see above) and Neven Subotic could have been USMNT fixtures for the next decade if the infrastructure in this country wasn't so convoluted. It's not like Ibisevic played college ball here. And I guess Subotic would've had to sit behind Onyewu anyway... Ugh...

Wait! Hold Still! Do Nothing! Freeze Up! We're confounded...

Beating Man U and Chelsea still doesn't make them solid gold yet. They still had an awful month for the most part. They are lacking in depth, the Gallas situation, injuries, etc... etc...

Capello's England:
"Well Let's Not Start Sucking Each Other's Dicks Quite Yet." The Wolf had this one scouted out... I'm just saying. The Sun (not the paper) remains at the center of the universe and David Beckham didn't fall of the edge of the world, he just agreed to play for the Alexi Lalas-led L.A. Galaxy. England will probably fuck this up. So hold tight to your positions.

This Concept!
It's looking pretty good right now, but we've missed out on so much. Go to the comments section and add your own "tips" or do it to us on email and maybe they'll make the site for next week. Until then... Be Champions!


The NY Kid said...

Hey, I'm no Platini apologist. He was wonderful for us on the pitch, but he's gone off his rocker.

phil said...

TLL, I'm of the mind that Spurs need to buy a strong central defender, like say, the recently freed up Stephen Appiah, or maybe Diarra before we buy another attack-minded midfielder.

Mike Georger said...


sell: robbie keane and dossena ..... had there ever been a more telegraphed dropping of points in the history of the game than this?

The Likely Lad said...

i agree phil. diarra, appiah, etc. come first. we've needed that element for 3 years now. heskey is a close second though. we've been squeezing goals like watermelons out our arses!

JT said...

Yeah Georger, it's a bit crap so far. All this possession and nothing to show for it. I'd make an Arsenal joke, but they did beat Chelsea yesterday... shit

Mike Georger said...

thirty minutes left. so twenty six until rafa makes a sub.

Keith said...

That picture of Average Grant never fails to amuse. While we're playing, here's the ultra-homeristic, Villa-centric Market update


Klass-Jan Huntelaar. That's a direct message to Martin O'Neill and Randy Lerner.

Curtis Davies. From a "pub player" against Leicester in the FA Cup and a blown Achilles at the Emirates to an England callup and domination of Nicklas Bendtner at the Emirates in a year. Far and away, our MVP.

Our Two Brads.

He's Big! He's Bald! He's saved another goal! Brad Friedelllllll; Brad FrieDELLL! From Tomas Sorryson and Spill-happy Scotty to Friedel was a huge upgrade. And Guzan has sparkled for us in Europe.

Gabby From scoring on the pitch, to scoring off it, it's been a hell of a year so far for the youngster. With Rocket man suddenly unable to play most of the time, Gabby's made the most of his time to shine. The goal against Arsenal was magnificent, and he's had several other crackers this year.


Martin O'Neill's substitution patterns. You're tied at Nil with Fulham, and Stevie Sidwell and Gareth Barry fluffed great chances. You're not going to put on another striker for the last half-hour? Really? Then why name a bench, Martin?


Top 4 chances. Key Losses: @ Stoke, @ Spartak London, Middlesbrough, @ Newcastle

Key wins: Man Citeh, @ Arsenal, Ajax

Equally key draws (for both good and ill): Odense(!!!), @ Pool, Portsmouth, ManU, Fulham

You figure this team out. I certainly can't.

phil said...

Agreed, TLL. Although, would you be averse to trying Huddlestone in the role you imagine for Heskey? We sorely miss having Davids and Carrick at midfield.

phil said...

Is it just me, or is Avram Grant a dead ringer for Herbert Lom? I was waiting for him to blame a Chelsea loss on "that damn Clouseau" all of last season.

Mike Georger said...

HOLY SHIT RAFA. ngog for keane instead of babel? way to crouch the kid and force his sale to real so you can buy some more shit fullbacks.

god fucking damnit this is ridiculous, they are clearly pseduo top in spite of the manager at this point.

Mike Georger said...

and this will surely take five minutes to give treatment for a ball to the face

this game is over. one man team yet again.

Keith said...

a) I thought Gerrard was that one man, Georger?

b) There's always time for a Dirk Kuyt goal from nowhere. It's the Liverpool way.

phil said...

I agree with Keith. This match feels like it's going to be decided by a ball off Kyut's hip, yet again.

Mike Georger said...

apparently its torres now

gerrard has been the only threat, but when he literally whiffs and falls down trying to take one of his trademark blasts....

Mike Georger said...

this team just isnt that good

Mike Georger said...

"this team just isnt that good"

exhibit one: the offense is running through dossena

if they salvage the point they have to easily be the worst december leaders ever

Mike Georger said...

id like to say this is unbelievable, but as i said yesterday, its obvious that dropped points are the only result on the table today

Mike Georger said...

three chances they have had to go clear of chelsea after chelsea dropped points. three times theyve dropped them on their own. two straight games at home without a goal. fucking pathetic. i feel like crying, because there is NO FUCKING WAY this team is here come spring time.

how many more dozens of millions of pounds is it going to take rafa for you to find someone who can open up a fucking defense and service a striker?

you know what really sucks? roy was right all along

has there ever been a first place team that inspired less confidence? maybe pompey early on two years ago?

JT said...

Oh hush Georger... we're top of the league! If this draw had us in 5th, I'd be unhappy. Fact of the matter is, we're not losing games despite no Fernando, we've beaten Man U and Chelsea, oh, and we're top of the league. We're fine. All the Big 4 have had shit days this season, so it evens out.

Top of the league!

Mike Georger said...


those are the number of draws the last three champions have had

liverpool now have four, with four games left against arsenal united and chelsea.

you do not win titles drawing at home against west ham, fulham, and stoke.

JT said...

Georger: we've had one loss. Compare to Man U (2), Arsenal (5), Chelsea (2), Aston Villa (4), Hull (4).

While your point about champions and draws is definitely salient, I think this season's form for all title hopefuls throws the previous few seasons out the window. It's clear that the 2008/09 season is not like those of recent years.

Mike Georger said...

thats true

its just a worrysome trend more than anything. this really looks like the liverpool of old, control possession but get one or two balls in the box all game long. and my GOD how can noone on that team take a fucking corner? i swear to god i saw sami take one near the end

we all know damn well that united are going to keep winning. i dont see them dropping any points between now and the pool game at OT in march with the exception of chelsea, just watch.

and i swear to god if i see one more "rafa: we deserved to win" headline my head is going to explode like the guy in scanners. no, you didnt deserve to win. you had about five good chances, two of them from open play. after having the ball in their half probably 90% of the game. you deserved to draw because you have ZERO attacking edge.

Mike Georger said...

put it this way

top of table alone in december is what we all hoped for

but if they play like they did the past two league games, its liverfourth or bust the rest of the season

Keith said...

That's where Rafa having no backup plan for signing Barry is really biting him- the corners. Pool lost Riise, about their only good crosser, and didn't replace him with anyone who can take a set piece. One of the things, aside from Laursen being really, really tall, that makes Villa dangerous (but don't tell Fulham that) on corners is Barry's (on the right) and Young's (on the left) quality service. Hell, even buying Shaun Maloney or Wayne Routledge off of us would have been a solid backup plan.

Andrew said...

I come home, pour a scotch, and watch Georger rant. Good day.

@ Keith: I wish a could figure out Villa as well. It seems they are suffering from what the rest of the Top 5 (not ManPoo) has: inconsistency. You're right, good victories followed by dreadful defeats or draws. If they string together a good run, they could be the most feared team coming out of January. I'd definitely put Gabby on the "buy" list. He's special.

@Georger/JT: Aside from MUtd's recent form, 'Pool has been by far the best team in the Prem. I'm still very impressed by them, insofar as they are top do play some fantastic football (from what I've seen). Wish Rafa would start Babel more often - pace to spare.