footy musings from a (relative) newbie

Archive for the ‘English Premier League’ Category

Club Football is Back! Thank God!

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.
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Twas the Weekend of the 3-0 Win

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.

4th Anniversary

A month+ since I last blogged. I’m not just waiting for Champions League to restart. I’m mostly meh on the current status quo of the big European leagues. Well, except for Spain, where an actual title race seems to be developing.

Hard to believe, but It’s been four years since I became a football fan

Four years since I fell in love with what we fans call The Beautiful Game. And, to tell you the truth, I still can’t understand why.

Looking back, it’s not like the 2010 World Cup – which was what triggered my interest in the sport – was a particularly good one. Yes, Spain won its first World Cup, but the final was boring as fuck. Some of the matches before the final round were exciting – most notably, the quarterfinal between Uruguay and Ghana. But others – like the marquee matchup between Portugal and Spain – turned out to be tedious duds.

So, why was that the tournament that transformed me into a football fanatic?

I think part of it was that I started paying attention to the sport at a time when coverage of it had become more widely available in North America.

The internet also obviously helped. The proliferation of blogs and news sites dedicated to the sport, as well as fans from all over the world congregating on social media outlets like Twitter and Reddit, helped to make a novice like me feel like I was part of this much larger community of fans.

But even those practical explanations don’t full account for my fanatical interest in the sport (I mean, is it normal that I listen to a minimum of four football podcasts every week?)

Over the past four years, as I’ve tried to figure out why I became smitten with the sport, I’ve concluded it’s because I’m a soap fan. And there’s no better soap around than world football.

I was reminded of that when I watched Borussia Dortmund play Bayern Munich in their first Bundesliga match last fall. As Mario Gotze prepared to come on the field as a substitute, I tweeted:

Gotze was playing against his old team for the first time since Bayern made the sneaky move to take him away from Dortmund towards the end of last season. Needless to say, the boos that greeted Gotze in his old home stadium were deafening.

All of which is a long way of saying that the main reasons I follow football are the human stories. Which player will adjust when moving to a new league and which won’t? Which coaches will take the gentle, respectful approach with their players, and which will rule with an iron fist? And which team rivalries will live up to the hype when they actually play?

In short, I have as much investment in what’s happening off the field as on it.

But my true happy place is…

…when Manchester United and Chelsea lose on the same day. Within hours of each other in fact.

It is beautiful.

It is joy.

It is right.

In other Premier League news, my Everton drew league leaders Arsenal. Only an Everton win would have made this the perfect EPL weekend for me.

When Everton Win and Manchester United Lose…

…that friends is my Futbol Happy Place.

Everton FC’s Bryan Oviedo did the honors last night, scoring in the 86th minute to beat Manchester United. At Old Trafford.

Only thing that would have made it sweeter would have been Liverpool and Chelsea both losing. But you can’t have it all, right?

Elsewhere, we’ve got one day till World Cup Draw Day. How many Groups of Death will there be this time?

Look Who Scored!

My Marouane Chamakh got the only goal in Crystal Palace’s win over West Ham earlier tonight, scoring a header just before halftime. I’m thinking he had help from that hair cut I love so much.

Quick Hits: The Weekend That Was

  • I hate these weekends when both Chelsea and Manchester United prosper. (Y’all know my feelings on those two teams).
  • Cannot believe that in 90+ minutes of football that my Everton couldn’t beat freakin’ Crystal Palace. I’m kind of glad I missed that game.
  • Nobody got the upper hand in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, as Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo played to a 0-0 draw. Let’s see if someone does in the Western Conference semis’ first leg between Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake. Gotta say, though, it’s hard to get excited about the MLS Cup Playoffs now that my New York Red Bulls are out (*sad face*)
  • PSG is streaking away from Monaco in the Ligue 1 standings, but I’m more intrigued by Lille’s move up to second place.
  • This week brings us another international break. And y’all know my feelings on those as well.

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