Chile (Picante) versus Portugal (Got Nothing) 

My hypocrisy grows as the Confederations Cup enters its second semifinal game. I wrote an earlier piece complaining about how it’s basically a tournament about nothing, right champ? It’s not like the winner gets directly qualifies to the World Cup…

Here are my takeaways from the Chile versus Portugal game today:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair – It was different, it had a lining and I couldn’t help but think it made him look schoolboy-ish. Maybe the hair was a factor in him not turning those headers into goals. Hmm…

2. Why wasn’t Ronaldo within the first three to take a penalty? He didn’t even get a chance to take one today since his teammates missed the first three. In that note, I couldn’t help but think Nani and Quaresma were subbed in to not only provide width for a Ronaldo that went from provider to the spear of the attack, but with penalty kicks in mind. 

3. Vidal complaining about getting elbowed was hilarious as their was barely a touch made in him. Doesn’t he have a rep of playing in the knifes edge? 

4. Was Vidal playing as a false nine? 

5. That one pace Alexis Sanchez played for his teammate was class!

6. Bravo! Bravo! I can’t remember the last time a goalie stopped the first three penalties kicked against him! He showed why he’s a great shot stopper, and I hope he’s back to his best next season. He had a great stop during the game as well which kept the game without goals.

7. The amount of shots over the bar was unreal! I’m looking at you Moutinho and Andre Silva… 

I’ll have something up Friday. Until then keep your haircut fresh and your mouth while you’re at it. 

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A French Trident, A French Connection, A French Delight

If rumors and the latest transfer “news” are to be believed Arsenal is going to get a long awaited French attack. This trident of a French connection is composed of one young Mbappe, the middle child Monsieur Martial and the old lad Lacazzette (whose last name I’m rhyming Spanish words with). Maybe it was Arsene Wenger’s plan all along to lead Arsenal with a front three of French goodness. Harnessing the power of baguettes, cheese and wine (maybe not this one) will lead Arsenal to the culinary top. Give the wine to Chelsea, leave the liver to pool and confuse the Manchesters with a varient selection of cheeses. 

Not to worry as Arsenal has the winning cheese. All terrible French inspired jokes and puns aside, that front three is an expensive three. Mbappe is available if you have over €100 million laying around, Lyon just upped the price on Lacazette to €65 million and I assume Martial will also be overpriced. With the cost of this frontline they better have a few Michelin stars among them. 

I’m eagerly awaiting to the morning I wake up and see the club has signed someone. Until then I’ll eat more cheese and have myself a red. 

Later!

FIFA Confederation Cup: Why Am I Here?

Should the FIFA Confederation Cup be played the summer before the World Cup? We are currently getting through yet another tournament that takes away recovery time for players. This tournament bids the six different regional champs along with the current World Cup champ and hosts against each other. Got that champ? There’s gonna be a champ here. I admit I’ve seen a few matches. My favorite match so far has been today’s Germany versus Chile match. 

I don’t think the matches have necessarily been great, but we have gotten hilarious moments that will live on. Mada-fucker anyone? The last time I laughed that hard during a football match was when Louis Van Gaal fell to the floor to emphasize his point to the ref. And here I thought I was going to take a break from football… 

Who am I kidding? I look for Arsenal ttansfer news everyday… Back to my main point, it does seem like overkill that some of the players in this tournament came in with 40+ games under their belt last season. Alexis has played blank and players like Marquez and Mustafi suffered injuries throughout the season. Add three more guaranteed games to that count and all the time spent traveling. That’s time that could be used on a vacation or recovering from wear and tear. Footballers are people like the rest of us, rich, but still people. We all need a break from whatever the hell we do as well! 

I get champs must compete against champs to be the best. However, what’s in it for the winners of this tournament? A trophy and… 

See you folks Monday!

FA Cup Winners, not losers (Chelsea)

Arsenal denied Chelsea the pleasure of completing the double. Double the pleasure wasn’t to be for Chelsea, but to say us Arsenal fans had half the pleasure is just wrong. It was a performance that pinged out assurances that the Arsenal machine was going to give its update a run for its money. 

The club should get new players and move on those who aren’t needed. The club should also give those youngsters on the cusp of a first team breakthrough a more relaxed opportunity to play. The club should not use the League Cup to give youngsters minutes. Afterall, it’s another cup English teams have to play for. Can we really be picky about silverware at this stage? The club should break its wage structure to keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Speaking as a fan of the club, all I want to see is a winning effort being made to keep these two. I will not talk ill of Arsenal’s ability to keep world class players if one or both move on, as long as the effort being made uses all the resources allocated to the cause. It has to be less of an Arsenal effort and one more on par with the other top teams in Europe. 

It pains me to say this, but maybe Arsenal should ease the burden on those essential players who always end up getting hurt. Have them compete with other class players for their spot. On that note, I want all of us to take a moment and daydream about Mertesacker blocking the rain for us and intercepting on our behalf to bring the club another dash of sunshine in the form of an FA Cup. 

His performance was truly inspirational. One would not know that he spent over a year on the sidelines based on the cup final performance alone. I also want to give a shout out to Rob Holding for not falling victim to Diego Costa’s shenannigans. It was hilarious to see him smile over the fuss Costa was putting up. He also put in a mature performance that deserves recognition. Cannavaro who? Ramsey should always play finals. It was interesting to see Mezut drop back a line and play as a central midfielder of sorts. 

P.S. Excuse my shitty attempts at being clever!

#SomosManchester 

I had to stop reading news about the Manchester attack today when it hit me that children were casualties. To quote my friend, “everyone was someone’s child.” I’m a child of someone and chances are so are you, yes, this even includes lab babies and machines. It was a sickening feeling that I carried the rest of the day. Children and teens make up youth that should be nurtured and supported. The next generation isn’t lazy or stupid, they are adaptable and hard working humans that are expected to thrive in a faster paced world that’s constantly disrupted. 

My thoughts are with Manchester. Hopefully, the victims are allowed to heal and grieve. I know the Europa League final will hold extra meaning tomorrow if Manchester United win. They will have the extra strength of the Manchester people behind them. They were wounded, but not discouraged from continuing to be human. Humans are capable of doing great things that are matched by terrible things. Humans come together in time of need. Humans give me hope.

I will stop here. I apologize if this post seems rambly. Expressing out my thoughts and feelings seemed like a healthy thing to do.

What Paper Bag?

I read about the recent comment Tony Adams made about Arsene Wenger. It did not sit well with me at all! I’ll be the first to admit I want Wenger out. Arsenal is due for a change in regime infused with new ideas and truckloads of money. Going back to Adams, upon reading his comment, retorts of his team being relegated came to mind. Does he know he’s in the bag? Does he know Granada got relegated? How’s his Spanish? Can you point us to the Spanish second division. Okay, I’ll stop! I do want answers to my questions though.

Arsene is a person I admire a lot in the footballing world. I sometimes think about how wonderful it would be to share a glass of wine with him or sit in a lecture where he’s the professor. I’ve felt strongly over him finally leaving Arsenal this season, but that feeling took three years to build. I’m ready to embrace what lays ahead for my favorite team. I will never stop following Arsenal. Through February collapses and FA Cup triumphs I will be here looking on.

I apologize for this being a day late…

Arsenal of Feeling 2

Arsenal. One word that brings so much out of me if I even catch a whiff of it blowing in cold winter air or that rainy spring funk right before summer. I want to continue on from my post last Wednesday. Thierry Henry left and Fabregas took up the mantle of being that exciting player we all wanted to see on the lineup each and every game. It was a lot to put on the shoulders of a teenager, but the incisive passes he produced are memories that reaffirm why younger me fell in live with this team. It was part part passing and part idealism of playing with youth. Who doesn’t believe in the concept of utilizing your own youth academy with young prospects to bolster the team? No sugar daddy came to our rescue. It was a youthful idealism matched by my own youthful reassurance that I knew what was best for the world.

Arsenal. You and I played on throughout the years. I was there for you through some humiliating losses and you were there for me every weekend morning. We completed each other in a very dependent day that was borderline vice if not for how healthy you were to end the week with. That’s why it tickles my wrong bone to admit that sometimes I’m just not excited by you anymore. We have fallen into a rut. The foreplay needs work and the same moves just don’t cut it anymore. It’s not because the moves are bad, it’s just the context around those moves has changed. Early on this season, the game against Swansea was a reminder of the Arsenal I had first fallen in love with followed by a taste of who she had become. The passing and movement in that game hit me with the nostalgic wand so hard my seat wasn’t enough to contain me, but then the defense conceded again and again. It was the same issue against Bayern. Oh captain, when you’re gone the boat gets torpedoed to shreds.

Arsenal. I have no doubt you will defeat Chelsea and bring back another FA Cup. I will be watching. The past few dates have been a mix of duds, effort and a different mentality to the bedroom. It might not be a well, but the faucet is back on. We have our issues but leaving is never an option. I will be there, eyes glued to screen, hand on the badge of my jersey, as the final flows on.