Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back in the Footballing World

After a little bit of a break from the football Fan-atic page (but not from football) I’m back and hope to return to the old days of two months ago of posting two or three times a week about the world of football and the experience of being an American fan. Once again, I apologize for the break I took; I was swamped with “real life” work and followed that with a very pleasant vacation to the Caribbean and a hotel which (thankfully) had ESPN2, which allowed me to see both Champions League semi-finals last week. Today I just wanted to do a few quick hits on what’s been going on while I’ve been on my little break.

  • First the Champions League. I’m looking forward to the final, and enjoy watching both teams. I don’t have much of a rooting interest (Yoann Gourcuff is probably my favorite current player, but he won’t play in the final [along with the roly-poly but beloved Ronaldo, who is cup-tied] and otherwise I am fairly neutral about Milan. I feel the same way about Liverpool, although I do have a soft spot in my heart for that “gangly bastard” Peter Crouch). So anyway, I’m just hoping for a good game.
  • I actually have strong feelings about the semi-final losers. Over the past few weeks I have become more and more disgusted by the boring football Chelsea plays, which culminated in my wasting two hours watching them lose to Liverpool in that dreadful semi-final while I could have been sitting on the beach with my wife. They play the most dreadful, negative, boring football I have ever seen. I have totally turned on them. It’s no fun to watch a team go up by one then defend for 70 minutes. Curiously, I like a lot of guys on the Chelsea team (including Michael Essien and Michael Ballack) but I just hate the club. I’m glad they’re losing the pot this year.
  • Alternatively, I have sort of fallen in love with Manchester United over the past few weeks, in spite of the loss to Milan. Their two headed match against Roma was a joy to watch; the second game (in England) was particularly fun, a 7-1 romp in which the Red Devils attacked straight on for 90 minutes. I know what a lot of people think about Manchester, that they are the New York Yankees of football and all that. But if they keep playing this attacking football next year, they may have won me over. And good for them to have won the Premiership; they were the best club this year and deserved it.
  • Staying on the Premiership, Sunday will be a big day, as I will discover if my club, Sheffield United, is staying up. I hope they will and think they will, but we shall see. I would like to have crazy ole’ Neil Warnock up with the big boys for another year; just imagine who he could be threaten to sue at this time next year? Anyway, I will be sweating as I have breakfast with Mom, celebrating Mother’s Day.
  • In Spain, where they have the best race of the season, my boys in white (who I wrote off three months ago, in one column saying they wouldn’t even get a Champions spot) are now threatening Barca for the league title. They’ve played great and the whole team seems to have come together at once, and no small part of it has been the re-emergence of David Beckham, who we all get to see in the states in a few months. I do hope David and the boys get a Liga title, as they deserve it after everything that has gone on this year. It should be a hell of a last month.
  • Even my hometown team, the New England Revolution, are playing really well. My seats at the home end corner (which I share with a good buddy) are sweet, and we have been able to watch a fun team so far this season. I am looking for the Revs to sustain me until Europe gets started again in August, so they need to keep the wins coming.
  • I have read lots more football books recently and hope to have some more reviews up soon.

Okay, that’s all for now. I should be back tomorrow with a weekend football preview.

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