Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

Monday Headlines: West Ham Reject Man City Bellamy Bid


West Ham rejected a £9.2m bid from Manchester City for Craig Bellamy.  Just what City needed, another short attacking player. (The Guardian)

Diego Maradona’s cigars cost Chelsea some sleep before the Man U match. (Off the Post)

A La Liga Match was delayed by snowballs. (101 Great Goals)

A German fan livens up a dull friendly. (The Spoiler)

Many of the world’s biggest stars will be coming to New York in June for a Charity match. (Goal)


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Gay Rights Advocate Criticizes Chelsea for Scolari Hiring


English gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell has attacked Chelsea for hiring manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

“The appointment of Phil Scolari to manage Chelsea should have been vetoed by FA and Chelsea bosses,” Tatchell said.  “He had previously said he would refuse to have a gay player in his team.

“The FA should have not allowed him to take up his post until he renounced discrimination and gave an undertaking to abide by the FA’s equality policies.”

“If Scolari had said that black players were banned from his team, there would have been uproar.  He would have been immediately ruled out of running for the Chelsea managership.  Why the double standards?”

I support gay rights, marriage and full legal equality.  I hold neither malice nor intended prejudice.  Homophobic comments at football matches disgust me.  I applaud the work of Kick it Out and other organizations.  But, I don’t see how Tatchell’s comments are appropriate or productive.

Loving whoever you want is or should be a fundamental right in a free society, as should be the right to express that love in a public forum and receive the associated benefits. 

However, freedom of worship is equally fundamental.  Scolari is a devout Catholic.  As odious as it may be, one of the tenants of hard-line Catholicism is that homosexuality is immoral.  The FA and Chelsea have no right to impose upon the man’s religion or conscience.

Tolerance works both ways.  Truths that are self-evident to some may not be to others.  Homosexuality is a political issue, but for many, on both sides, it’s also a moral one. 

The FA should behave with sensitivity, but sensibly.  Scolari’s personal views on matters religious and moral should not face an inquisition from interest groups before being allowed to manage a football club.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below.

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Sunday EPL Results: The Deuce Runs Loose on Chelsea

156202256_22681c61afNewcastle 1 – 5 Liverpool: Liverpool emphatically guaranteed they will be title leaders by Christmas.  How bad does your defense need to be for a team playing two holding midfielders and leading the line with Dirk Kuyt to score five goals?  That is with Shay Given’s brilliance maintaining reason.

Fulham 2 – 2 Chelsea: Clint “Deuce” Dempsey played up to his nickname, dueling Frank Lampard to a stalemate in the West London derby.  Chelsea had more chances, but did not use them.  Scolari’s men have taken just 10 of their last 21 possible points.

Blackburn 2 – 2 Manchester City: I flipped this one off with about five minutes remaining.  Oops.  Daniel Sturridge and Robinho in injury time spoiled a competent performance from Big Sam’s boys.  City are two points above the relegation zone and Blackburn are two points below.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Portsmouth: It was one-nil to the Arsenal, but there wasn’t much to sing about.  The Gunners managed just one goal against Portsmouth’s porous defense, and that was from a defender.  Far from the beautiful game, Arsenal’s current group plays with neither invention nor competence in any facet of the game.  Relegation candidates Portsmouth have lost four straight.

West Brom 2 – 0 Tottenham: Tottenham succumbed from two late goals, but West Brom’s victory over the ten-man side was deserved.  Harry Redknapp, bizarrely, questioned the ref’s competency while admitting the penalty call. 

Everton 3 – 0 Sunderland: Without a healthy striker, Everton needed goals from midfield.  Fortunately, that midfield contains Cahill, Fellaini and Mikel Arteta, scorer of two early goals in this match.  Ricky Sbragia’s deal at Sunderland is now permanent.  Unfortunately, his salubrious effect may not be.

West Ham 2 – 1 Stoke City: West Ham scored a resilient victory, coming back from an early goal.  They were aided by Stoke City, who dropped to ten after Ricardo Fuller saw red for taking a shot at his own captain, Andy Griffin.  

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Boxing Day Premier League Results


Boxing Day is rough for all and, generally, Premier League defenders are not excepted.  With lapsed concentration get slapped haphazardly around the area, with goals raining in from every direction to the delight of spectators (See Chelsea 4 -4 Aston Villa).  This year, alas, only Manchester City and West Ham received the memo.

The Citizens stormed out of the relegation zone, beating Hull City so badly they looked as if they had met Joey Barton outside a McDonalds.  Robinho was fancy, but effective bagging a brace and imposing his flourish on an overmatched Hull defense.  The drubbing was so bad, Phil Brown refused to let Hull return to the dressing room.  Mark Hughes retrieved some of his pride after the loss to West Brom, but dousing the burner under his bottom after one match would be hasty.

West Ham won just their second Premier League victory in their last 13 matches, but it was impressive.  Carlton Cole and Craig Bellamy penetrated the casual and sloppy Portsmouth back line.  How does a team coached by Tony Adams concede nine goals in three matches?  Perhaps, they were too busy packing.

Arsenal drew Aston Villa 2-2 in the tastiest tie of the day, leaving Villa a three-point advantage for fourth place.  Martin O’Neill’s men comprehensively outplayed every Arsenal partisan on the pitch, except the goal post.  Arsenal then, inexplicably, went 2-0 up.  William Gallas gave away a legit penalty in the 65th minute, and Zat Knight, of all people, knocked in an injury-time equalizer.  Both sides could have won.  Both could have lost.  It was the fairest result.

United were big in Japan, and Carlos Tevez was just big enough to score the late winner against Stoke City.  United have scored just three goals in their past five Premier League matches, however they have not conceded and earned three 1-0 victories.  Given Liverpool and Chelsea’s inconsistency of late, Man U could be title favorites if they pick up their games in hand.

Liverpool’s Robbie Keane can be dangerous on a hot run, which he appears to have hit.  His two second-half goals in the 3-0 win against Bolton, as well as his equalizer last weekend against Arsenal have kept Liverpool on top of the table, shocking since this was their first December victory in all competitions.

The other contenders, Chelsea, earned their first home victory since Nov. 1 with their 2-0 defeat of West Brom.  Drogba received the central role, and scored his first league goal since March after three minutes.  Trim, reliable Frank scored in first-half injury time.  Chelsea put the game away.

Wigan vanquished Newcastle 2-1, with Ryan Taylor again tormenting the barcodes.  Approximately 80,000 combined people witnessed Tottenham – Fulham and Sunderland 0 – Blackburn 0.  They went home profoundly bored.

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John Terry’s Red Card Against Everton

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Monday EPL Result: Everton Protect Liverpool’s Lead


Everton 0 – Chelsea 0: Still, no one wishes to win the Premier League.  John Terry saw red, probably soon to be rescinded, for a reckless challenge.  Riled by the referee, Chelsea showed their normal level of restraint, with three bookings for dissent.

The Blues have earned just six points from their last five matches, again leaving Liverpool unscathed at the top.  Chelsea sullied their perfect away record as well with the draw.

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Sunday EPL Results: Chelsea and Pompey Falter at Home


Chelsea 1 – 1 West Ham: After breaking their streak, Chelsea have played nervously at home.  Bellamy put West Ham ahead.  Anelka equalized.  Carlton Cole missed two chances and West Ham withstood the late pressure.  Zola seems to have settled.

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Newcastle: Leaving Newcastle has Michael Owen feeling frisky.  Pompey played well, but impotently in the first half.  Newcastle poured in three goals in the second, raising themselves from the relegation zone.  Defensive mastermind Tony Adams’ club have allowed 13 goals in their last six matches.

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Soccer Christmas Parties

Here is my latest soccer post for The Big Lead, a roundup of the Premiership Christmas Parties.


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Headlines: Djourou’s Mango Body Butter

djourouJohan Djourou shows why Arsenal need some more steel at the back.  Seriously, Mango body butter !?! (The Spoiler)

Man City could be after Matthew Upson. (Man City Blog)

EXCLUSIVE: Gigi Buffon wants $19.5 million per season to leave Juventus for Manchester City. (Daily Mail)

Roman Abramovich bought land on the moon.  The base will begin construction once his battleship is finished. (Kickette)

Avram Grant takes a break from cruising around Europe on his raft of skulls to be interviewed about his Chelsea reign. (Independent)

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Headlines: C-Ron Bags a Mail-Order Bride

cristiano-ronaldo-entertainerCristiano Ronaldo has a new flame, a millionaire’s Ukranian mail-order bride. (The Spoiler)

The FA, with its usual due process, finally suspends Patrice Evra for an incident last April, thereby redirecting everyone’s attention to a blight forgotten. (The Original Winger)

The best soccer quotes of the season. (Soccerlens)

David Beckham bungee-jumped in New Zealand. (Off the Post)

Tomas Rosicky will be out until March, at the earliest. (BBC Sport)

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