Rescinded Red

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

Boxing Day Premier League Results

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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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Headlines: Sigi’s Leavin on a Jet Plane

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Would you rather live in Ohio or Seattle?  Sigi Schmid leaves Columbus to coach Seattle Sounders. (Soccer By Ives)

A Brazilian fan attempted suicide, after Vasco de Gama were relegated. (Deadspin via FanDome)

Arsenal will let the kids out on loan, now that their Carling Cup is over. (Arsenal Mania)

Wigan will relieve Newcastle of Nicky Butt. (Soccerlens)

Victoria Beckham has a smile in development, soon to be unveiled. (WAGS Blog)

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , , , , ,

Much Eboue About Nothing

emmanuel-eboue-3456Arsenal fans booed a hapless Emmanuel Eboue as he left the pitch, during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Wigan.  This inspired outrage from the game’s commentators and the subsequent highlight-viewing punditry.  It’s seen as a blight on Arsenal fans.  But, really, what is the fuss about?

His play warranted criticism.  It’s not the most mature reaction, but fans paid their ticket money.  They have the right to boo when their team performs badly.  Being a supporter is not all swooning and accepting shit as champagne.  You are the first to praise a loved one, but also the first to caution.  Fans should behave similarly.

Eboue, also, is not a fragile object of empathy.  He’s lambasted by others as a loose cannon, a whinger, a cheat and a diver.  Arsenal fans are Arsenal fans, but also football fans as well.  Wearing the shirt does not justify his methods wholly.

Limiting the narrative to the personal blunts its purpose.  Booing Eboue was a lash at the club.  Fans could not stomach the shaky, woeful display against Wigan, particularly following similar efforts throughout this season.

Eboue, in particular, absorbs the fans’ frustration.  He’s seen as a second-tier player jackknifed by Arsene Wenger into unsuitable positions, to account for the maligned dearth in midfield. 

The reaction to Eboue’s substitution was not a personal attack, but a convenient outlet for collective frustration.  Given Arsenal’s performance, it was plausibly a sensible one.

 

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Saturday EPL Results: United Escape Against Sunderland

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Manchester United 1 – 0 Sunderland: Sunderland conveniently picked the match after Keane leaves for their most steely performance of the season.  United outshot Sunderland 31-3 and finally took the advantage on a late Vidic header.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Wigan: Adebayor scored early.  Arsenal hit the post a few times.  Eboue was booed off the pitch.  The Gunners nearly cocked it up, but held on for three points.  Arsenal fans will take it.

Blackburn 1 – 3 Liverpool: This was close for most of the match, but Liverpool caught fire at the end.  Can Liverpool get by on midfield goals?  Winless in their last ten, how much more patience will Blackburn have for Ince?

Bolton 0 – 2 Chelsea: A solid Chelsea victory with little inspiration.  Anelka scored against his former club.  Deco dumped in an overrated scissor kick.  Chelsea has won six straight away at Bolton, without conceding.

Hull City 2 – 1 Middlesbrough: Boro took a late lead from Tuncay, but an own goal and a David Wheater penalty handed Hull the win.  Could Hull be playing in Europe next season?

Newcastle 2 – 2 Stoke City: Michael Owen scored two in the first 24 minutes.  Newcastle squandered the lead.  Shockingly, Joe Kinnear will likely face another conduct inquiry.

Fulham 1 – 1 Manchester City: The biggest club in the world started Darius Vassell up front, and again disappointed away from home.  Jimmy Bullard scored his first league goal of the season.  Fulham look quite frisky this season.

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Monday EPL Result: Wigan 1-0 over Everton

henricamraWigan Athletic 1 – Everton 0: Senegalese “striker” Henri Camara scored his first league goal in two years – the first for the home side at the JJB since September.  It was a good showing from a undermanned Wigan.  Everton have sorted their defense, boding well for the remainder.

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Saturday EPL Results: Chelsea Cruise, Ronaldo gets 100th goal

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West Brom 0 – Chelsea 3: Chelsea started sloppily, but three goals from Chelsea, including two more from Nicolas Anelka, changed the tone quickly.  They have now outscored opponents 32-4 in their 13 matches.  Absurd.

Bolton 0 – Liverpool 2: Liverpool missed chances.  Benitez’ tactics up front still baffle.  But, they got the job done so fair play.

Manchester United 5 – Stoke City 0: A ruthless performance, showing why United are contenders and Arsenal are not.  Ronaldo got his 100th and 101st goals.  Young Danny Welbeck scored his first.

Newcastle 2 – Wigan 2: Wigan were rocked by a ridiculous red card.  Owen led a final charge in the last ten minutes, only to have it foiled by Titus.

Fulham 2 – Tottenham 1: Spurs blazed into Craven Cottage.  Fulham had fire extinguishers at the ready.  Redknapp has work ahead of him.  Gomes is a clown.  Every win is crucial in a crazed relegation rumble.

Blackburn 1 – Sunderland 2: Sunderland fought back well in the second half with goals from Jones and Cisse.  A nice win after four defeats for Sunderland, pulling Keane’s rump out of the glames.  Are Blackburn relegation candidates?

West Ham 0 – Portsmouth 0: The battle of the two new managers.  Defoe squandered three chances, stopped by Robert Green.  West Ham kept a clean sheet under Zola.  Crazy stuff.  

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Aston Villa Are Looking at Michael Owen and Emile Heskey

michael-owenAston Villa will fortify their front line in the January window, despite Gabby Agbonlahor’s castration of Arsenal earlier today.

Manager Martin O’Neill feels that Villa don’t have the necessary depth at striker to compete in their league and cup commitments.

“We have Marlon Harewood and young Nathan Delfouneso, who I think will become a really good player,” O’Neill told the Telegraph.  “But, without naming names, it is fair to say we are looking to see if we can bring someone in to get a bit of extra strength in that department.”

O’Neill likely will look at two reasonably priced ex-Liverpool men.  Michael Owen, undoubtedly would leave Newcastle for a top four offer.  If current form holds, Aston Villa would be just that.  Though, they may need to compete with Chelsea, also looking for a cut-rate striker in January.

Another option may be Wigan striker Emile Heskey, who played for O’Neill at Leicester and fills the big, powerful forward role favored by O’Neill.

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Saturday EPL Results: 8 November 2008

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Sunderland 1 – Portsmouth 2: Sunderland owned the first half, but could not force Pompey to pay.  Keane’s men lost focus after Belhadji’s wonder strike.  Diouf was the most notable culprit, deciding the match with his obvious penalty.  Adams may not be some kind of wizard or a genius, but having consistent scoring threats like Crouch and Defoe will aid him.

West Ham 1 – Everton 3: West Ham looked great going forward and foul at the back, in what has quickly become a characteristic loss under Zola.  Louis Saha scored two and could be significant if he stays healthy.  However, place a large emphasis on the “if.”

Liverpool 3 – West Brom 0: The Baggies had no answer for Robbie Keane who scored two.  Fernando Torres returned from injury.  Imagine Benitez fielding them simultaneously.  West Brom will be relegated.

Hull 0 – Bolton 1: The third successive loss for Hull, will have grounded them somewhat, particularly one they would have expected to win.  It’s a symbolic victory for Bolton, launching them from relegation zone to top half of the table.

Stoke City 0 – Wigan 0: I pity the fool who put themselves through that.

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Saturday EPL Results: Spurs Keep Arsenal’s Title Hopes Alive

Tottenham 2 – Liverpool 1: The Redknapp Revolution continued for Tottenham, who, nonetheless, still lie in the relegation zone.  Liverpool dominated the first sixty minutes of the match, but, without Torres, made little of it.  Their poor play finally bit them as Tottenham scored two late.

Manchester United 4 – Hull City 3: This did not excite as much as the score suggests.  Man U hit cruise control with a 4-1 lead.  Hull nearly took advantage of it.  The Tigers have returned to earth, allowing 7 goals to Man U and Chelsea, but, within reason, still look troublesome to lesser teams.

Chelsea 5 – Sunderland 0: Keane dropped Diouf and Cisse, consequently, Sunderland managed one shot total, not on target.  It’s clearly facile for Chelsea when Anelka puts through a hat-trick.

Everton 1 – Fulham 0: The matchup was as entertaining as expected.  Louis Saha decided the bleak affair with a late goal, opening his Everton tally.  The win shoots the Toffees up the table, from the general relegation area to Europe contention.

West Brom 2 – Blackburn 2: Ince’s men scored a late goal to save face.  I could not bring myself to watch this match.  Even McCarthy’s sending off–for a mild tackle and a handball–was super lame.

Middlesbrough 1 – West Ham 1: The match went back and forth, but West Ham got their first point after four consecutive defeats.  However, it was against Middlesbrough, which proves nothing.

Portsmouth 1 – Wigan 2: Wigan surprised with a penalty and an injury-time Heskey goal.  Is Adams this uninspiring, or did Redknapp choose the right time to leave?

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Sunday Premier League Results 27 Oct 2008

Chelsea 0 – Liverpool 1: Liverpool ended Chelsea’s 4 and a half year unbeaten streak at home in the league.  Liverpool look like the favorites at this point.  John Terry can do no wrong.

Tottenham 2 – Bolton 0: Spurs get new win with new manager bounce.  Clive Allen or Redknapp allowed Modric the freedom to do his thing.  The roster seems revived.

West Ham 0 – Arsenal 2: The Capi came through with his finest effort of the season, but Carlton Cole can have that effect on defenders.  Arsenal kept plugging for the eventual reward.  A stern performance in a normally tough London derby.

Manchester City 3 – Stoke City 0: Mark that Robinho fellow lads.  It might be a good idea.  Robinho’s hat-trick allowed him to exhibit every goal celebration known to man.

Wigan Athletic 0 – Aston Villa 4: Aston Villa were clinical and ruthless, with Big John Carew coming off the bench to recompense for his lap dancing club antics.  Ashley Young and Agbonlahor are sending a message to Capello.

Portsmouth 1 – Fulham 1: Pompey outplayed Fulham in their first post-Redknapp match, but substitute Clint Dempsey burst through with a late equalizer.  

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