Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Weekend Recap:

1) Can anyone challenge Manchester United? Right now they're a runaway bus, steamrolling anything in their path, unable to be stopped, and led by a very handsome man who inspires the utmost loathing in his detractors. Kind of like the movie Speed, if Keanu Reeves were really good at his chosen profession in the way Ronaldo dominates his own. The Portuguese phenom is already inspiring debate as to whether or not he's the greatest player the EPL has ever seen (unfortunate for Arsenal and Chelsea), and Keanu Reeves is still making films (unfortunate for everyone). I happen to think he's a shoe-in for every accolade this season (including "hater of the year"), but would hesitate before calling him the best ever in the league. But if he keeps this up for just one more season, then I think he's earned the right to be talked about with Henry, Shearer, Bergkamp, Zola, and the rest. He certainly helped his case with the opener against Villa which was as beautifully executed as it was audacious.

2) Arsenal aren't finished yet. Wenger calls their victory over Bolton the greatest comeback he can remember, and I can't argue. Easter was a disaster, but the Gunners rose from the dead a week later with a gritty and fortune-favored second half. After struggling against Birmingham, Wigan, and Boro, Arsenal evidently need to be two goals and a man down before they really get going. However, that particular formula for victory won't work against Liverpool in the Champions League (as Inter will be all too happy to tell you), so Arsenal best be on their game on Wednesday if they want any shot at advancing.

3) Villareal completely outclassed Atletico Madrid. It wasn't as though los Indios were playing poorly, either, they simply ran into a squad that have real self-confidence and desperately want to contend for the title. The yellow submarine have been consistently providing some of the best teamwork in the game (watch the way they work the goals below). The question now, though, is whether Real Madrid have lost a title rival, or gained one? Barcelona look done after their stunning second-half collapse against Betis, and Villareal have supplanted them in second with a great run. They're currently six points back, and though you still have to like Real's chances, they still have to play Barcelona again this season. Villareal, meanwhile, have a cozy run for the rest of the year, with their toughest opposition coming in an away game against Sevilla next week. It's a good opportunity for another statement game.

Wonderful teamwork, but I think we all know the real secret of their success: long, flowing locks of hair. With Gonzalo Rodriguez, Pires, Santi Cazorla, and numerous others, no club has better.

4) Inter are at sixes and sevens. Their lead is at four points, but it feels a lot smaller. Roma did them a huge favor by drawing at Cagliari, but remain right on their tail. Something working in Inter's favor: Roma must play red-hot Manchester United in the CL. Probably not good for momentum. Things working in Roma's favor: Inter still have to play Fiorentina and AC Milan in the league, and have a much more difficult Coppa Italia draw in Lazio. That'll mean less rest for their big players. This one ain't over, folks.

5) AC Milan are in a tailspin. And there's no sign of it ending anytime soon. Future fixtures include Juventus (in Turin), Inter, and Udinese at the very end of the season. They're in sixth place and ninth-place Atalanta just carved up their defense like fresh cold cuts. 1-2 was a very flattering scoreline, and it could have easily been 4 or 5 for Serie A's other Nerazzurri. They're only four points out of fourth, but on current form and with their remaining schedule, I don't think they'll make it. I reckon it's probably time to bid farewell not only to Paolo Maldini, but to the fantastic dynasty of world football he helped build.


Jim said...

Oh yeah... and I forgot to mention King Kev and Newcastle! Long live the King!

Unreasonable Newcastle supporters are now predicting a top four finish next season.

Juan the Happy Juve Dog said...

i just laughed so hard at the idea of the magpies finishing 4th next season that I may have to dedicate an entire post to how terrible newcastle really is

Ellie said...

Oh the magpies. At least their giddy about their opportunities to get the crapped kicked out of them again.

Jake said...

I for one am ecstatic newcastle look to be staying up, with derby going down who else will United bludgeon by 6-7?? (assuming the roma thing was one off)
oh and ronaldo's goal on saturday was the most absurd thing i've seen recently, i saw it live, and had to rewind immediately, and i think i did a double take the second time i saw it, even in slow motion it looks absurd (perhaps chapelle's theory of things looking cool in slow motion should be things look cool when christiano ronaldo does them) he could stop playing right now and should still be world player of the year come december,

united do look untouchable, but they've looked untouchable since the 4th week of the season or so and have managed to drop 13 points in those 29 matches, at that rate they would drop about 2-3 in the remaining 6 matches (probably at stamford bridge) which of course means no one would catch them, and really guys a goal differential of only 53 through 32 matches, that's pretty poor, i'm still shocked when they don't score 3+,

arsenal should be focusing entirely on champs league,(i might have to recant after wednesday),
Here's what has to happen in the league: 1) win out, 2) man u-chelsea draw 3) man u drops points to either middlesborough, blackburn, west ham or wigan
If they don't win out, but lets say go 5-1-0 with a win over man u, then, united would have to lose to one of those 4 (and draw one or arsenal outscores opponents by 18 more goals then united does in the last 6),and chelsea would have to drop points to someone other than united (yikes!)

if you've gone cross-eyed don't worry, you've been thinking too hard, just relax and try to enjoy the rest of the season...