October 22, 2008

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain

Portsmouth players are going to school to learn what the hell Harry Redknapp is actually saying. The French players shouldn't have too hard a time - the 'h' is always silent. Zing! Maybe Juande Ramos should send his players to school so they'll be able to understand him! Oh man, the hits just keep on comin'.

The exception proves the rule

Tottenham's loss to Stoke this weekend made a fantastic argument against instituting a salary cap in European soccer. For the past three years Spurs have brought in big names in order to topple the hegemony of the Big Four, but they currently sit at the bottom of the table, the only team yet to win a game this season. If this unlikely scenario holds, Tottenham will undoubtedly fire their coach and sell off the highest-paid players. Is this not the exact kind of situation the promotion/relegation system was designed to create?

Not to belabor the point, but let's review the tasks of the key members of a club. It is the job of the ownership to provide the funding and overall direction for the club. It is the job of the manager to effectively discover and motivate talented players. It is the job of the players to execute the plans of the manager. The clubs who succeed at all three are rewarded with trophies while the ones who fail are relegated to lower divisions. Currently Tottenham is failing at all three areas and deserve to fall out of the Premier League if they cannot produce more positive results.

Such an obvious example of incompetence would not be as clear with a salary cap in place. The mismanagement by Juande Ramos could be obscured with the excuse that he does not have the players he needs to execute his gameplan. No such excuse exists when the manager is allowed to bring in players with the talent of Luka Modric, David Bentley and Roman Pavyluchenko.

The spots at the top might be dominated by the highest spenders, but spending alone does not secure a trophy. Good management is vital, and Tottenham have proven that with the abundant lack they possess.

October 20, 2008

Opening Whistle 10-20-08

Photo of the Year. No, not the dog, the one with the corner flag. [100 Percent Soccer]

Last I checked, a shortlist didn't have two dozen players. It's more like five. [Mercury]

David Beckham allowed to train with AC Milan, which is good since AC Milan could use some publicity for no good reason. [Scotsman]

Jose Mourinho at least realizes he has a finite shelf life wherever he goes. [FourFourTwo]

Tottenham: Can't smile without you, can't expect sensible transfer market moves with you. [The Cannon]

October 17, 2008

Yet another reason nobody will miss Bolton

More proof for why I hate Bolton: they have to tempt their fans with beer just to show up. I can't wait until they're relegated. You might think I'm just being contrary but each fan (of the first 1000) gets only one free beer. Whoopee. I can think of a lot better things to give away at a Bolton game:
  • Any ball that ends up in the back of the net with the scorer's signature (don't worry, it'll be the other team)
  • A night out with your favorite Bolton player as wingman
  • The opportunity to design a jersey because they obviously need help
  • Tryouts
  • Hope

October 16, 2008

Opening Whistle 10-16-08

The seven bids for an MLS expansion team are in. Does Arthur Blank really think he has a chance? [MLS Expansion and Development]

Photoshop fun with Joe F*****g Kinnear! [Guardian]

If a Holiday Inn in Zimbabwe were to charge by the hour, I'd imagine it would have to give a different rate each hour to match inflation. [Unprofessional Foul]

Man, nobody is happy with the decision not to play this week's Champions League match at Vincente Calderon. [The Sun]

If Jamaica beats Canada by seven goals to knock Mexico out of the World Cup qualifiers, I will dance naked to Bob Marley in the streets of Toronto. That's a promise. [Sideline Views]

October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

The theme of this year's Blog Action Day is poverty, a blight many soccer fans hear about but few experience. We'll hear about the superstar who came from a tiny, desolate village in Africa and feel amazement at their struggle for 15 seconds then chide them for missing a cross.

For every Didier Drogba or Emmanuel Adebayor, there are thousands of others left behind. For this reason I want you to go to Grassroot Soccer and see what you can do to help. Their mission is to stem the tide of HIV infections across Africa. You might be thinking, "Uhh, the theme today is poverty, moron," but consider this: when a child loses his/her parents to HIV, what chance does that child have of learning the skills necessary to rise out of the poverty to which he/she has been born?

Poverty is a symptom of a larger disease and there are several ways to work toward its defeat. I encourage you to visit my friends at Soccer Overload and Hugging Harold Reynolds to learn more about what you can do to reduce poverty in our world.

October 14, 2008

Aage is Norwegian for Eeyore

Norway's national team coach Aage Hareide sure is bad about firing up his players before their World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands. He's not playing the 'NOBODY RESPECTS US' card or even the 'We've got nothing to lose so let's give 'em hell' card. He's already resigned to his fate and hopes "they have a bad day."

Even worse, he expects the fans to understand their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad situation.
"I hope the home crowd understand how difficult this match will be. That will make it easier for them to support us then," said the Norwegian pansy.

Hey, Norway FA: fire this douchebiscuit today. He's embarrassing your country.

Image courtesy Cardboard Standups