Well, that was a surprise. No, not Real Madrid losing at home to Roma (bye bye Schuster, hello Jose?), although Roma must be commended for their excellent efforts (for full coverage, read Chris’s live blog / report).
No, the surprise was seeing Liverpool fans searching on Google for information on the 2nd leg game against Inter (easily outstripping the search efforts of Chelsea fans, so there’s one debate settled about which club has more fans) – apparently a large contingent of Reds thought that Liverpool were playing this Wednesday. What, Hicks and Gillett are too busy dragging the club through mud to send you guys a memo?
Speaking of Hicks and Gillett, there’s nothing wrong with someone trying to make an extra buck so I’m not going to take the cheap route and slam them for greed – it’s not their fault, this is business and they want to make money, so that’s that.
What I am disappointed at is that after the PR blitz that accompanied their takeover (Hicks this, Gillett that, sweep the debt under the floor baby, we’re 5-time, 5-time champions!), you’d have expected the new owners to at least know how to deal with the press.
But as speculation over Benitez and then DIC has mounted the owners have done nothing to manage the crisis, preferring to allow the trigger-happy British press to sully the club’s name and embarrass the legions of Liverpool fans who have eventually turned on the Americans. The other prominent American owners, the Glazers, have had opposition from the start so it’s different case – Hicks and Gillett had goodwill on their side and they pissed it all away. Terrible.
Oh well, my sympathies lie with the Liverpool fans (knowing full well that they’d never return the sentiments) – not only does their team play poorly, their manager can’t win the Premier League AND they have owners who can turn gold into dust. Good going 🙂
On to today’s (actually, yesterday’s….this morning’s) news:
1. Do all Portuguese sound the same?
Apparently Ronaldo sounds a lot like one Jose Mourinho…see the video on this page and tell me what you guys think.
2. Ticket touting is bad for you
Apparently, the Internet is the main source for ticket touting. Who knew the Internet was evil?
“Ticket touting is not only illegal but it can lead to an increase in violence at football games, primarily through segregation breakdown.
Genuine fans should not buy tickets from touts as they are potentially fueling violence and lucrative criminal activity.”
That’s your public service message for the day…
3. Messi – the whiter, younger, shorter, more talented version of Saha?
Rooney’s broken his foot several times but with his super-regenerative abilities you wouldn’t think that his career is under any threat. Messi is a bit of a different story, especially considering his medical history (no, I’m not prejudiced against little people). Will Messi stay an injury risk and if so, shouldn’t Barca work on rotating him more effectively?
I say you guys should send him over to United, let Fergie take care of him, he’s got experience with the Balsa Man.
4. Every dog has his day..
And these days it’s Palermo striker Amauri, who, in-between securing Italian nationality and scoring 9 goals in the Serie A (Benjani has 13 and Carew 9 in the Premier League, while Rooney has 8 – just giving you guys some perspective), has been whoring himself out to teams in Spain (my bet is on Sevilla or Atletico Madrid, although 22m Euros is a bit high) and England (Chelsea refuse to comment on speculation). Palermo want £19m, which is ridiculous – not because he’s 27 but because he’s hardly scored the amount of goals to justify that type of money.
5. Young footballers want money more than football
So David Nugent wants to stay at a side that might be playing in Europe next season as opposed to playing in a side that could be in the Championship. What lack of ambition! What greed.
It’s impolite not to call back though – so maybe Nugent should learn some manners on dealing with other clubs from Sol Campbell?
6. Barton + Newcastle United = Stupidity
Liverpool is a no-go area for Newcastle United’s Joey Barton, which raises an important question: why is Barton still at Newcastle United? Not because he’s a great person and a great footballer (he might be a decent fellow in private though), but because it would cost Newcastle United too much to dump his ass on the pavement. This isn’t charity folks, this is Ashley trying to get his money’s worth.
Is the bad press worth it? Ashley? Ashley?
7. South Africa 2010 – media spin
The 2010 World Cup is 2 years away (how time flies) and the spin is in full flow – here’s an interview with some dude who refuses to answer the questions asked of him and instead, in every response, answers with sales rhetoric.
Cynicism apart, I’m looking forward to SA 2010 – should be a fun event.
8. Has Someone Died?
“Milan: The End” makes for a compelling headline but…oh what the hell. It’s an end of a magnificent, glorious era for AC Milan but one feels that they stretched it for an year too long, and now the rebuilding must start, from top to bottom.
9. Mathieu Flamini wants more money
“I am very happy here. Every game I give more than 100% and I love playing for this team.
“We are a new generation, we have to create a new history. I want to be part of this history, so I hope I will be here for next season. At the moment my advisers are talking with the club, so I really hope that everything will be okay.
I cannot put a time on it, but I really want to stay here. What is important for a player is to play and I am playing. I am becoming more and more confident and I want to take more responsibility.”
Raise my wages, goddammit!
And so they should – he’s blossoming into a good player for Arsenal and deserves a new, improved contract.
10. A legend passes
Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday mourn the passing of legend Derek Dooley.
11. Aston Villa’s sugardaddy
David Conn writes a sugary piece on Randy Lerner. What love! What obliviousness to the fact that Lerner chose to take out loans instead of putting his own money into the business, even though it’s not THAT much money (although the loans are currently on him and not on Aston Villa’s assets). Still a good read, but Conn comes off as being too sweet.
12. West Ham – courts – again?
Kia Joorabchian sues West Ham for 7m. You’d think that West Ham would have the sense to deal with this a long time ago…
13. What a load of …
Good to see someone with a whimsical sense of humour at the Guardian – Simon Hattenstone talks about spit. Literally. And he sounds like he could go on about it for hours. Literally.
That’s your lot then…till tomorrow.