The volleyball team, that is. Those who watched today's glorified friendly known as the UEFA Super Cup bore witness to the most outrageous handball I've personally ever seen. But let me say this: the placement was perfect and the sheer audacity of the attempt has earned Scholesy some added respect in my book. Well done, Paul! (I really wish I could find the English commentary for this as the announcers were completely disgusted: "there's nothing funny about that at all... what on earth was he thinking about?!") On an added note, Juve and Madrid should be feeling slightly more uncomfortable as a bright Zenit side tore apart the Ronaldo-less European Champions. I'm sure Juan and/or I will have more to say about the CL draw a little later.
Tomorrow, the mayhem starts for real as the Serie A and La Liga return and grace us with their presence. With just a cursory glance at the fixtures, I think it's safe to say that Fiorentina-Juve has the potential to be a real firecracker. Liverpool and Arsenal also face tough tests. Can't wait.
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.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Dirk Kuyt, Liverpool legend. What more can you say? I'm constantly hating on him for his lack of pace, failure to demonstrate any skill on the ball, and utter inability to play a wide position, but yesterday, the Diggler did what he's made a career doing: he inexplicably showed up at the right place at the right time and scored an incredibly crucial goal. (For Standard Liege, who were superior on both nights of the tie, the blow must have been, as the announcers put it, "absolutely sickening." Also of note: right before he scored, I was busy explaining to my brother why Kuyt is the weak link in an otherwise menacing Liverpool attack.)
How crucial was this goal for the club and its supporters? One might as well ask how crucial water is to fish. Or the Emancipation Proclamation to black people in the United States. Or the Gateway Arch to St. Louis retaining any lasting impression on the minds of people not from St. Louis. But I digress. Let me put it this way: that goal just earned Liverpool 25 million pounds, saved Rafa's job (at least until next weekend), and perhaps prevented the club from entering a downward spiral which ends outside the Big Four. Oh, and as the ninth goal for Kuyt in 15 European outings, it has pretty much solidified him as a Kop cult hero. Which actually might be the most amazing part.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
38 games x 3 available points = 114 points
Last year, 87 points won the Premiership. 114 - 87 = 27 points to spare.
Arsenal has 6 games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd. Realistically (perhaps optimistically), Arsenal splits these matches and drops another 9 points. We've dropped 3 already to (shoots self in head) Fulham, so thats 12 points total. That leaves 34 games, and 15 more points to spare.
The big four averaged 10 draws last year - 13 Liverpool, 11 Arsenal, 10 Chelsea, 6 Man Utd.
The big four averaged 3.75 losses last year - 4 Liverpool, 3 Arsenal, 3 Chelsea, 5 Man Utd.
(Rubs eyes) Wait a second? We lost three times last year and finished third. FU$%!
Where was I... Ah yes. So assuming we scrounge 9 points from 6 games with the members of the Big Four, that leaves us 34 games and 15 drop-able points. Here are the options (give or take a point):
5 losses, 0 draws
4 losses, 2 draws
3 losses, 3 draws
2 losses, 5 draws
1 loss, 6 draws
0 losses, 8 draws
That's 34 games, and Arsenal needs to win at the most 29 of them, at the least 26.
We had one "bad" loss last year - Middlesbrough. The other two were Chelsea and Man Utd.
So if you wanted to know how much the Fulham loss hurts, now you know.