Tag Archives: Carlos Tevez

Premier League starts tomorrow

13 Aug

Finally, the football lull is over and the Barclays Premier League kicks off tomorrow. Hurray!  It’s going to be interesting to see what the mental impact of the World Cup will be on this season.  Some players have had hardly any breaks and that could impact their games/health dramatically.  For players on teams that didn’t fare so well (cough*England*cough), this season could be used to prove to fans that they still got mad skills.   And of course, there’s new faces, new teams and it’s going to be glorious.

I have to peg Chelsea as the title favorite, but it should be a tight race with the likes of the always dangerous Manchester United and Sir Whines-A-Lot Ferguson.  I also think that Manchester City could mount a formidable title challenge if Robert Mancini can get the team to play well as a unit early on.  Chelsea played a smart, aggressive game last year and I don’t anticipate that changing much this year.  Liverpool should be able to get back into the top four after last year’s craptastic finish.  Steven Gerrard has looked rejuvenated and Joe Cole could add a needed spark.

Predictions
Champion:
Chelsea
Top Four: Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool
Relegated: Blackpool, West Brom, Wigan
Golden Boot: Carlos Tevez, Manchester City

TV SCHEDULE
Saturday, August 14

7:45 a.m. – Tottenham vs. Manchester City – ESPN2 (Live)
10 a.m. – Aston Villa vs. West Ham – Fox Soccer (Live)
12:30 p.m. – Chelsea vs. West Brom – Fox Soccer (Live)
2:30 p.m. – Bolton vs. Fulham – Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Sunday, August 15
10 a.m. – Liverpool vs. Arsenal – Fox Soccer (Live)

*One more plug for Fantasy Premier League on http://www.premierleague.com.  Code is 1445704-287759.

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Five most memorable moments of the round of 16

30 Jun

There are no World Cup games today and that makes me quite sad.  I really don’t know what to do with myself, so I guess I could actually get some work done.  Or blog about the latest round of games.  Yeah, blogging wins that battle quite handily.  Anyways, I’ve compiled a list of my top five most memorable moments from the round of 16 – some things are good, some are bad, but they will all stick with you in one way or another.

1. Frank Lampard’s “no-goal” – Of course you have all seen this a million times by now, but it’s still shocking that a ball clearly two yards over the goal line was not ruled a goal.  I credit Germany goalie Manuel Neuer for that as he played the ball like it had merely bounced off the bar.  If Neuer had responded like he’d been beaten, I bet Jorge Larrionda would have given the goal.  Had the strike counted, it would have drastically changed the game. 

2. Ghana’s extra-time winner – You have no idea how hard it was for me to write that.  However, putting aside the fact that the U.S. was the team punished by Asamoah Gyan, it really was a great moment for African soccer.  Ghana is the lone representative of the continent to make it out of the group stage.  They withstood the pressure magnificently in the round of the 16 and now we will get to see if Ghana can become the first African nation to make it to the semifinals. 

3. Game-winning goal from Luis Suarez – Simply put, this goal is absolutely brilliant.  It also proved to be the game-winning goal to send Uruguay through to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970.  Check it out for yourself.

4. Carlos Tevez is way offsides – Argentina took an early lead on Mexico, thanks to Carlos Tevez and a bumbling assistant referee.  Tevez was offsides by a mile when he headed the ball in the goal and even a conference between the head honcho and the assistant couldn’t overturn the call.  The entire arena saw the goal replayed and that wasn’t good enough either.  The goal stood and Argentina went on to claim a 3-1 win.  Oh and Tevez scored again in the second half, this time he was onsides.

5. Paraguayan penalties – The South American nation kept cool under pressure, sinking Japan 5-3 on penalties.  The drama didn’t really start until after Yuichi Komano of Japan missed his.  Nelson Valdez and Oscar Cardozo made the final two penalties for Paraguay to send the team to the quarterfinals.

It’s sad that poor officiating made it onto the list twice, but even FIFA has responded to the criticism and Sepp Blatter has said that the organization will reopen the case for goal line technology.

Get out of the stone age, FIFA

28 Jun

Ok, Sepp Blatter and FIFA, it’s time to get your heads out of the sand.  Soccer needs technology.  You’ve been saying for years that the sport doesn’t need it and that “human error” is part of the game.  Human error is part of life, but that doesn’t mean that technology can’t help reduce those errors.

Of course, yesterday’s incidents made you look foolish.  Mr. Blatter, you pooh-poohed the idea of adding additional refs or any sort of video replay after Thierry Henry’s handball heard ’round the world.  I knew then that your decision would come back to bite you in the ass.

Now, I admit that instituting video replay in soccer would be difficult due to the nature of the game.  Difficult, but not impossible.   Since you couldn’t go to replay every time there was a controversial foul or call, you would have to implement rules about the usage of the replay.  I realize that would mean altering the time-worn rules of the game, but it’s time that the sport caught up with the available technology.  (The opening goal from Carlos Tevez yesterday would have been a perfect chance to use replay, especially since the ref had to consult with the linesman anyways.  It would have taken a replay guy about three seconds to let the ref know that Tevez was offsides – hardly slowing the game at all.)

A good first step into the wide world of technology would be goal line technology if you aren’t ready to commit to something as big as video replay.  Our society has progressed to the point where we can make computer chips the size of a fingernail, but you can’t tell when a soccer ball is 100% over the goal line?!  That, my friend, is some bullshit.  There’s no reason that there can’t be a chip in every ball and sensors in the goal to help determine when the ball crosses that line.  FIFA has experimented with this technology at some youth tournaments, but has never brought it to the highest levels.  Why the heck not?! 

One of your argument against technology, Mr. Blatter, includes the fact that you couldn’t do it at every level of the game.  You don’t have to.  No one expects an under-10 tournament to have video replay.  No one will complain that there’s no goal line technology at high school games.  The NFL successfully uses replay and the ATP has pulled off its own version of goal line technology easily.  It hasn’t altered how the game is played at any level.  The technology is in place to help the referees do the best possible job they can for athletes at the very top of their sport, realizing that it’s not physically possible to get every call right every time.

Frank Lampard’s goal, had it stood, would have radically altered the course of the game with Germany.  England still might’ve bowed out, but it would’ve made things a lot more interesting.  Both teams would have changed tactics after an England equalizer and who knows what would have happened.

For the love of all that is holy, Mr. Blatter, please join us all in the 21st century.

World Cup results – June 26 & 27

27 Jun

Heartbreak on Saturday, massive controversy on Sunday.  In the opening game on Saturday, Uruguay dispatched South Korea, 2-1.  Luis Suarez gave the South American side an early lead, but Lee Chung-Yong equalized midway through the second half.  Suarez notched the game winner in the 80th minute on a beautiful curling shot into the upper right side of the goal.  It’s Uruguay’s first trip to the quarterfinals since 1970 and it is well-deserved.

And in the day’s second game, an early extra time goal from Ghana was enough to send the U.S. packing, despite several golden chances for the Yanks to equalize.  (I’m still way too depressed about this game to get into much more detail.)

Anyways, Sunday’s games were characterized by controversy and once again raised questions about the place of technology in soccer.  Germany took a shock 2-0 lead over England in the first 30 minutes, thanks to goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.  The game looked over before it had started, but England got back in the mix after a Matthew Upson header.  Frank Lampard leveled the game moments later…or so everyone thought…except the ref.  Lampard’s shot bounced off the crossbar and over the goal line, but referee Jorge Larrionda waved play on.  (You might recognize his name from the three red card debacle between USA and Italy in 2006.)  Clearly an equalizer from England would’ve changed the game dramatically.  Thomas Muller scored twice in the second half to put the game away and give Germany a 4-1 win.

The Argentina-Mexico game saw its own bit of controversy.  Carlos Tevez gave the Argentines a lead in the 26th minute, but he was clearly offsides.  A conference between the ref and the assistant yielded no change and the goal stood.  (Note to self: write post about technology/refs.)  Gonzalo Higuain  added a second for Argentina in the 33rd and Tevez added a second (totally legit) goal in the second half.  Mexico got a late consolation goal from Javier Hernandez.

Saturday, June 26 results
Uruguay 2 (Suarez 7, 80)
South Korea 1 (Lee Chung-Yong 68)

USA 1 (Donovan 61 – pen)
Ghana 2 (Boateng 4, Gyan 92)

Sunday, June 27 results
Germany 4 (Klose 19, Podolski 31, Muller 67, 69)
England 1 (Upson 36)

Argentina 3 (Tevez 26, 52, Higuain 33)
Mexico 1 (Hernandez 71)

Quarterfinal matchups
Uruguay vs. Ghana
Germany vs. Argentina

Messi is highest paid footballer

24 Mar

In news that will shock few, Lionel Messi has been tabbed as the world’s highest paid footballer, pulling in an estimated £29.6 million ($44.2 million in the US) yearly.  David Beckham is second at £27.3 million ($40.7m) and Cristiano Ronaldo is third at £27 million ($40.3m).  The list was compiled by France Football

At this point, Messi more than deserves to hold the top spot.  He was instrumental in Barcelona’s treble last season and has been absolutely phenomenal this season.  His latest conquests include sublime hat tricks in two of his last three games.  Barca is top of the Spanish league and has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

It’s interesting to note that the top six athletes on the “rich list” all play in Spain or Italy.  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City is the first player from a English club on the list at No. 7.  The other interesting fact that comes out of this is that Messi is only fourth on the sports “rich list” behind Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and LeBron James.  Even though football is the most popular sport in the world, players rarely crack the list of top 10 highest paid athletes in the world.  Those lists are generally populated by U.S. sports stars.

1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona – £29.6m ($44.2m)
2. David Beckham, LA Galaxy/AC Milan –  £27.3m ($40.7m)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid – £27m ($40.3m)
4. Kaka, Real Madrid – £16.9m ($25.2m)
5. Thierry Henry, Barcelona – £16.1m ($24m)
6. Ronaldinho, AC Milan – £15.5m ($23.1m)
7. Carlos Tevez, Manchester City – £13.8m ($20.6m)
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barcelona – £13m ($19.4m)
9. Frank Lampard, Chelsea – £12.8m ($19.1m)
10. Samuel Eto’o, Inter Milan – £12.4m ($18.5m)

Weekend Thoughts & Observations

28 Sep
  • Chelsea is beatable after all.  Wigan took it to the Blues and walked away with a 3-1 win.  The loss sent Manchester United to the top of the table.  It’s definitely a game Chelsea shouldn’t have lost, but give credit to Wigan as they played a very good game.
  • Fernando Torres is the man.  Seriously, he’s a beast.  The Spainard had a sublime hat trick in Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing of Hull City.  He already has eight goals this season.  He needs to stay healthy if Liverpool wants to contend for the title.  Since dropping two of their first three, the Reds have ripped off six straight victories in all competitions.  They also currently have the best goal difference in the league at +12.
  • Portsmouth is still without a point.   It could be a very long season for Pompey.
  • Manchester City showed no lingering effects of their tough loss in last weekend’s Manchester Derby.  City beat West Ham on Monday, 3-1, thanks to a Carlos Tevez double.
  • Champions League is back in action this week.  The big match tomorrow is Manchester United hosting German champion Wolfsburg.  Fortunately, that one will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. (An aside to FSC: Please, please, please invest in HD technology.  It sucks seeing the best footballers in the world as indistinct little blobs on the television.)

Premier League TV Schedule – Sept. 19-20

18 Sep

The big game this weekend is the Manchester derby.  Manchester United sits second in the table, while potential top four threat Manchester City is currently third.  However, Manchester City will be without the services of striker Emmanuel Adebayor since he earned himself a three-game ban after stomping on Arsenal’s Robin van Persie in last weekend’s match.  City will also be missing Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and possibly former United man Carlos Tevez to injury, so goal scoring could be an issue for them.

The derby isn’t the only good matchup of the weekend though, as league leader Chelsea plays host to Tottenham.  United handed Spurts their first loss last weekend, so a win at Chelsea would go a long way towards validating their solid start to the season.

Liverpool is finally getting production from players other than Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, namely Dirk Kuyt and Yossi Benayoun.    It shouldn’t be an issue, but Rafa Benitez needs to find a place in the lineup for Benayoun.  The Reds also get a boost with Javier Mascherano returning after missing out on last week’s action due to injury.   The defense needs to continue to improve and that aspect of the game should be helped with Daniel Agger’s return to training (although it will probably be a while before he is game ready).  The Reds need to continue to put together whole team efforts to get a crucial win on the road at West Ham.

Portsmouth is still looking for its first point of the 2009/10 campaign.  They will need to put on a good performance if they want that point to come against a streaking Aston Villa on Saturday.

Saturday’s Games
Burnley vs. Sunderland – 7:30 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Arsenal vs. Wigan – 9:30 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Aston Villa vs. Portsmouth – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Bolton vs. Stoke City – 5:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Hull vs. Birmingham – 6:45 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
West Ham vs. Liverpool – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday’s Games
Manchester United vs. Manchester City – 8:25 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Wolves vs. Fulham – 1 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
Everton vs. Blackburn – 7 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Chelsea vs. Tottenham – 11 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)