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.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sally Can Wait, She Knows It's Too Late As She's Walking On By

"Lady-Luck was riding [Liverpool] reverse cowgirl all season long and they still finished 6 points adrift."

--"Liverpool was not lucky at all."

During the Euro's 2008 a Turkish player earned one of my all-time favorite nicknames. Semih Senturk, the Lifeguard. If you were watching the Turks in the Euros you'll never forget their knack for the late goals. Perhaps "lucky" isn't the best word to describe it, but it's certainly something.

In the 2008 EPL season, Liverpool did their best Turkey impression. In the 80th minute or later, Liverpool snatched the lead to win 4 times. As if that weren't enough, they came from down a goal to win in the 80th minute or later another 2 times. Here are the who they beat, by whom, and when:

Sunderland, 83, Torres
Middlesbrough, 90+, Gerrard
ManCity, 90+, Kuyt
Wigan, 80 and 85, Riera and Kuyt (down one to win by one)
Portsmouth, 85 and 90+, Kuyt and Torres (down one to win by one)
Fulham, 90+, Benayoun
Chelsea, 81 and 82, Lukas Kuyt (draw)
Arsenal, 90, Benayoun (draw) :(

That's an astounding 16 points earned after the 80th minute. They finished the season with 86 total.

The next closest is, of course, Manchester United with 5 victories after the 80th minute (and no draws).

Sunderland, 90+, Vidic
Stoke City, 83, Tevez
Bolton, 90+, Berbatov
Aston Villa, 80 and 90+, Ronaldo and Macheda (down one to win by one)
Wigan, 86, Carrick

for 11 points. Chelsea and Arsenal only completed the late game magic 3 times for wins and Arsenal was the only team of the big four not have come back from the dead (down 1 into the 80th to win).

So I guess what I meant to impart is, since Pool still finished 6 points back and also snatched up 5 more cardiac thrillers than who they were chasing, it's not inconceivable that this year they return to earth. With no major signings and only departures (enter stage left: Arsenal), I predict a down year for Liverpool.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Schedules and Prediction's That Are Likely to Fail

Manchester United
I heard a staggering statistic the other day when I was watching the Community Shield match. In the previous 2 seasons, Cristiano and Carlito Tevez combined for 102 goals for Manchester United (67 and 35 respectively). They are also without Van Der Sar for some time. Here are there first 10 games:

at Burnley
at Wigan
at Tottenham
at Stoke
at Blackburn

There are 7 ho-hum games in there for an uneventful 18-21 points. And three worrisome-but-could-be-blow-out games in there as well. My final answer is 24 points. If you want more analysis you're going to have to wait because I have absolutely no clue what to think of this team. United lost their identity, without argument, and they're ageing stars have aged one more year. Is Rooney capable of picking up the load? Because I know Berbatov is not. Valencia is a bruiser, which is to say, not exactly the United type. The man is huge by the way, just absolutely ripped. I'm scarred.

"Lucas - 'I can fill Alonso void'"

"Arhancet - 'LMAO!'"

Is it possible to write off a Liverpool team that had such a good year (all things considered) before this season even starts? The answer is yes. And the reason why is because Lady-Luck was riding them reverse cowgirl all season long and they still finished 6 points adrift. And they loved it. I have a hard time imagining Ms. Luck being so kind this year again. Here are their first 10:

at Tottenham
Stoke City
Aston Villa
at Bolton
at West Ham
Hull City
at Chelsea
at Sunderland
Manchester United

That's pretty brutal (but wait, the best is yet to come). I count only 5 guarantees in there. 1 volatile, just absolutely unpredictable game against Hull City (my sleeper to win the EPL). 2 of the big four and 2 against the frisky six. My final answer is 21 points and that's not at all a bad thing.

I have them winning the league although I'll never admit it. This team would get choked by Dylon (I spit hot fire) because in the past two years they've been so close. Too close really. Drobga is happy, Anelka seems to hate life a little less, Ballack is surprisingly fit (for ze German National team), Lampard is FFL (Frank F*&^ing Lampard), and I really like the Zhirkov signing. Not to mention Deco, a healthy Joe Cole, Essien, Carvalho, Bosingwa, and John Terry.
Ugh. Here are there first 10 games:

Hull City
at Sunderland
at Fulham
at Stoke City
at Wigan
at Aston Villa

Allow me to go on record with them losing to Hull City, panic at the disco, and then winning their remaining 9 games. My final answer is 26 points. And if you're clever, you'll realize you can only get to that number by winning 8 games and drawing 2, but I digress.

Are you ready for murder's row? At least for the first half of the ten. Cuz oh my goodness:

at Everton
at ManUtd
at ManCity
at Fulham
at West Ham

(Yes that is a picture of Gisele and yes she does appear to be a gunners fan.)

We could go our first 4 games without a single point, bust out of the Champions League and still be in September. That would cause me to fly to St. Louis and hang myself outside of Jim's apartment wearing nothing but my Carlos Vela jersey. Jim would go outside, see what has happened, and with the gun he's been carrying because of Arsenals start, shoot himself in the head. We'd make BBC front page and Arsene Wenger would be quoted as saying we made a hasty decision. Damn you Arsene. Damn you. My final answer is 24 points.

That leaves the standings at;

Hull City - 28
Chelsea - 26
Man Utd - 24
Arsenal - 24
Liverpool - 21

T-minus 2 days!!!! I'd be lying if I denied having an erection. Two days.