footy musings from a (relative) newbie

My feelings on international breaks are well documented, which is why I am oh-so grateful for the return of club football. 3 things to look for this weekend:
  • Friday Night Fun*: There’s something neat about Friday night Bundesliga games. I sit at work wistfully wishing I could watch. Mainz 05 host Borussia Dortmund in the game that starts matchday 9 of the Bundesliga. New Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel will be taking on his old team for the first time. What hijinks will ensue?
  • Kop @ the Klopp: Technically, Liverpool is playing Tottenham at White Hart Lane, but like everyone else, I want my Kop/Klopp wordplay, and I will have it, dammit. The Bearded Messiah will have his first league game as Liverpool manager, with  Tottenham keen to spoil the party.
  • Inter Milan vs. Juventus (aka Derby D’Italia): I don’t watch a ton of Serie A, but I’m always up for these big matches. And with Inter in 2nd place and defending champions Juve in 12th, there’s lots at stake.
*Technically, Friday afternoon for us Stateside folk.

It’s that time of year again…

…when we all get giddy at the sound of this theme song.

Matchday 1 is in the books. What have we learned?

  • Not only is Angel Di Maria loving in life in Paris, he got the honor of having the first Vine-able goal of the Champions League season
  • AS Roma might could maybe be my Serie A team after Alessandro Florenzi’s delicious long-range goal against Barcelona. I’ve been feeling Roma since they beat Juventus a few weeks ago, but we’re still just talking. We’re not going together yet.
  • Also, Premier League gonna Premier League in Europe.

Speaking of which, on the shade front, Soccer Twitter was in rare form

As the season goes on, I’m sure there’ll be more where that came from.

Onto Matchday 2!

Manchester United lose 2-1, just like my other hated team, Chelsea. This is the type of football weekend that doesn’t come around often, so trust that I’m going to savor it.

Next up, an international break. Y’all know my feelings on those.

  1. It’s too damn long.

  1. Arsenal can’t never get a break.

3. You CAN go home again. 

I can’t predict anything until a ball is kicked (how’s that for hedging), but here’s how the groups shook out.

Group A

PSG

Real Madrid

Shakhtar Donetsk

Malmo

Group B

PSV

Man. United

CSKA Moscow

Wolfsburg

Group C

Benfica

Atletico Madrid

Galatasary

Astana

Group D

Juventus

Man. City

Sevilla

Monchengladbach

Group E

Barcelona

Leverkusen

Roma

BATE Borisov

Group F

Bayern

Arsenal

Olympiacos

Dinamo Zagreb

Group G

Chelsea

Porto

Dynamo Kyiv

Tel Aviv

Group H

Zenit St. Petersburg

Valencia

Lyon

Gent

What was it with this weekend and 3-0 wins? First My Everton beat Southhampton by that scoreline. Then My NY Red Bulls took care of Toronto FC 3-0 on Saturday night. And finally, Manchester City defeated Chelsea – again 3-0. This last result was by far the most delicious because it is exactly what Jose Mourinho’s punk ass deserved after his latest round of throwing some unsuspecting soul under the bus for his team’s on-pitch failings. His sourpuss during the match was a thing of beauty. Long may his scowling continue.

The Funky Table

Because we all know the Premier League table will look very different come next May.

1 Man City
2 Leicester
3 Crystal Palace
4 West Ham
5 Aston Villa
6 Liverpool
7 Man Utd
8 Chelsea
9 Everton
10 Newcastle
11 Southampton
12 Swansea
13 Watford
14 Bournemouth
15 Spurs
16 Stoke
17 Sunderland
18 Norwich
19 Arsenal
20 West Brom

I like to have the after-round-1 table as a reference point for when people start saying stupid shit as the season goes on – and they always do.

Chelsea ran away with the league and left us quasi-neutrals quite bored with the whole spectacle.

But a new season is upon us, and hope is again alive that Mourinho and Co. will crash and burn.

That’s right folks. Our favorite sports soap opera has returned.

I’ve read all the preview articles and listened to all the season preview podcasts. I’m heading out to a pub tomorrow morning to watch the first Everton game of the season (vs. Watford). All that’s left for me to do is predict my top 4 finishers for the end of the season.

Yeah, despite ample documentation of my terrible prediction skills, I’m taking it there again.

  1. Chelsea – I haven’t seen anything in the pre-season/transfer season to tell me that Chelsea won’t win this title again (yes, including the New York Red Bulls reserves beating them in a friendly)
  2. Manchester United – They’ve shored up a lot of their problem areas (except for defense). I have to think they’ll be better than they were last season, though I don’t really have any evidence to back that up.
  3. Arsenal – two years in a row of not having to go through a Champions League playoff? Why not?
  4. Manchester City – I’m bemused to see some picking them to win the title. Why? Because they signed Raheem Sterling?

Off to bed, as kickoff is at 9:00 a.m.

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