Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dave's Football Focus, 14/01/07

Another weekend of football that didn't hold much movement at the top or bottom o the table, but by jove I'm gonna write about it anyway. And I'm gunna say it right out, right up front. I like Man United. They may only be the better of two evils in terms of 'who do you support what doesn't threaten the ideals we had about football until reality reared it's ugly head and we realised folks actually made money out of this whole malarkey', but hey, they just play better football than Chelsea. The fact that Arsenal play the kinda football that'd make you want to take up poetry written solely bout the subject of twenty two fellas and a ball is another matter altogether.

Which brings me to my next port of call on our magical journey round Premiershipland, teams I like cuz I feel a bit sorry for them. First, Newcastle, undoubtably the best team ever to play the majority of a campaign in the bottom half. The hell does that work? I'll tell you. An injury list readin like the who's who of Uefa Cup football is the hell that works. Newcastle have had shockin luck, but goals like what Obafemi Martins scored 'gainst Spurs in a spectacular display of grit and other hard-working-team clichés won't do a licka harm.

Which brings me neatly to Tottenham. Never has a team lived so profoundly in the shadow of its local rival. Spurs are the untalented wee brother of l'Arsénale, the one who'd look pretty good and probly attract its fair share of womenfolk if it wasn't so unavoidably contrasted by its gorgeous older brother, who has a tattoo and took a gap year to Venezuela. I like how Spurs play; I like Aaron Lennon, who will always kick Theo Walcott's ass for best twelve year old North London midget winger; between Berbatov, Defoe, Keane and Mido they've got a strike corps to be feared; they've even got a capable defence wi the likesa Ledley King and that keeper who's shite but still the best in England somehow. Where's David James when you need him.

Which brings me neatly to Liverpool, though maybe they don't belong here. I can't remember a club as big as Liverpool being such (league) under-achievers, and approaching every match in that framea mind. They've world-class players: Gerrard, Hyypia, Kuyt, Alonso, Luis Garcia, the list goes on. Yet they retain a number of players it's impossible to see as heroes in any sense but that they're punchin above their weight, sometimes literally: Carragher, Finnan, Bellamy, Kewell, Dudek, and of course, la tube de la tube, Peter Crouch. How that man continues to be an international-quality striker is beyond my comprehension. He's a puddin. I cannot make that clear enough. But neither can I make clear enough how much I love that man. I want to meet him in the street, shake his hand, give him a knowing look and start pissin myself laughin. I think he'd know what I meant.

So now the good stuff. Manchester United will take the title this year, unless Christiano Ronaldo gets injured. The transformation of that wee fella has been nothin shorta incredible. Last year: crybaby whingin bastard. This time round: team player par excellence, a mature, controlled, master of the pitch who's made Rooney look like he's had a quiet season. And now, far more than last year, they've the squad to carry it off. Chelsea don't look like a team up for a fight. 4-0 against Wigan is one thing, but they did it in such a ho-hum manner, with three o the goals comin from rotten defensive slips. A Ferguson team woulda been more disciplined, woulda torn a strugglin side limb from limb; they would never have had to answer to idle talk bout the boss leavin (at least not til the enda the season). Whether it's a ploy by Mourinho to bait the board into givin him more cash - would you believe Chelsea's pockets are closed, now? - there's no way something like this can be good for the team. This week: A tie on points, but United win by split decision.

Post Scripts: How good is Thierry Henry. How good is that gorgeous French bastard. Right bloody good, is how. Not a bad dancer, neither.
David Beckham is now on $1m per week, playin for the LA Galaxy. Good luck to him, I say. Bout time the Americans learned how to play proper football.
Sylvester Stallone. Did you ever.


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