ten words or less #85

Eddie Johnson is leaving Seattle for DC United

EJ heading to DC highlights a busy off season week for Major League Soccer.

With the hectic Christmas football calendar about to kick off and the transfer window to follow shortly after, it seemed prudent to get a Ten Words or Less in so we’ll have ample room in the next one to cover the all of the upcoming commotion. But that doesn’t mean this week has been devoid of anything interesting. There’s been Spurs drama to deal with, MLS offseason player movements, and a barely even a peep out of not just me about the FIFA Club World Cup going on in Morocco.

And just in case you missed it, I’ve also opened up a competition for you to win a free, personalized retro Tottenham kit from the good folks over at Campo Retro. Just registering will net you a discount, so it’s worth a punt.

The new Nike Boca Juniors kit is the stuff of dreams. – 101greatgoals.com

The latest chapter in the Book of Daniel (Levy). – dearmrlevy.com

He likely isn’t the first, and won’t be the last. – theoffside.com

DC United letting their fans pick their beer’s can design. – dcunited.com

Kompany couldn’t do this again if he tried. Unlucky. – imgur.com

Wahl just dropped a peg or two in my book. – awfulannouncing.com

Defoe to Toronto for $10 million? SOLD! - torontosun.com

Players association trying to revolutionize the transfer system. – fifpro.org

Google the front runner for the next MLS/US soccer TV deal? - prosoccertalk.com

This is David Nugent… chasing a squirrel. – kckrs.com

About these ads

for what?

Sacked Tottenham Manager Andre Villas-Boas

i feel you, andre. i thought we were sticking to a plan, too.

As I sit here basking in the post-apocalyptic glow that’s followed the long-rumored sacking of Tottenham Hotspur manager André Villas-Boas, I can’t help but ask myself one question over and over.

For what?

If the current state of affairs at the club is when Spurs would feel it necessary to pull the trigger, then for what was all this for?

For what reason did Daniel Levy fire Harry Redknapp after a fourth place finish, only to bring in a moderately inexperienced manager with European success already under his belt? It was a gamble Levy had taken and failed at before. Recall that he sacked fairly successful Martin Jol in favor of a disastrously short spell with a much-hyped Juande Ramos. Doing so again was an even bigger gamble — though one I was certainly a supporter of — that was hedged entirely on the idea that a revolution was necessary at White Hart Lane.

For what reason did Tottenham bring in a sporting director, at Villas-Boas’ suggestion no less, after the same system was deemed to be a failure under Damien Comolli? Could it be because some of Comolli’s purchases — namely Bale and Modrić — panned out and provided a sizable chunk of revenue? That could help to explain why Spurs mainly have gone after a group of players that could still be flogged off for significant profits down the line.

For what reason did Spurs sell off their best player and use the proceeds to nearly completely remake the side with seven new signings? Supposedly it was to round out the squad and provide the much-needed depth the club have lacked in recent campaigns. All these new players were hand-picked by the new manager and the new sporting director of course.

For what reason did Levy decide now was the time to get rid of said manager only sixteen games into the season after all of those changes, only eight points off the top of the table and just five points away from the sought-after Champions League places? It’s not like Tottenham are sitting in the relegation places like they were when the Ramos gamble backfired.

And for what replacement did we decide to dispatch AVB for? Former player and manager Glenn Hoddle? The guy’s last job was seven years ago in a wretched spell with Wolves. What about Fabio Capello, who was at the last game? Maybe you didn’t notice, but he is managing Russia, who have qualified for next summer’s World Cup. Klinsmann? He’s also going to the World Cup with the US and just signed a new four-year extension. Maybe Ajax manager Frank De Boer, Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, or Southampton gaffer Mauricio Pochettino? All would have to be bought out of current contracts, something Daniel Levy isn’t a huge fan of. Well, save for the contracts he’s offered that is.

Seriously…. FOR WHAT!?!?

it seems that there is no sense in trying to look that far into the future at white hart lane.

The club have spent the last year and a selling us on the idea that Tottenham under AVB was “a project”. The Lillywhites needed to get rid of Redknapp because he had taken the club as far as he could, and that a new approach would be needed to take Spurs to the next level. Routinely making the Champions League and challenging for league and cup trophies would be possible only if the club went through a revolution. And Villas-Boas was to be that revolutionary. While his Premier League track record wasn’t sterling, he sold the club on his plan to turn them into a power. A sporting director in Franco Baldini was brought in and backed with the money necessary to remake the side for AVB’s system. And those players were brought in; £100 million worth of them, in fact.

I was of the mindset that patience would be necessary, and I was under the impression that like Levy and the board and all of their “project” talk were in agreement, too. All projects take time to bear fruit, and few revolutions start and conclude in a single day. Stumbles would happen and unforeseen setbacks would occur, but the eye would always be kept on the light at the far end of the tunnel. Look at where Liverpool were this time last year, and where they are now. Patience pays off.

Yet here we are, 18 months into the revolution or project, and the man spearheading it has been deposed because Levy and the board suddenly seem to think that the project hasn’t just hit a snag, but fallen completely of course. Instead of persevering on and backing the man you appointed, they succumbed to fan and media pressure.

What then happens to the project André was guiding? Is it sent to the scrap heap along with him, or is a new brought in to pick up where he left off? Judging by the names that have been linked, it went along with him.

So, I’ll ask my question again: for what was all this for?

For the time being at least, the only way any of us can answer it is with a single word: uncertainty.

As Tottenham fans, we’ve been here before. Amidst a haze of overly high expectations once again, Spurs fans have to adjust to yet another knee-jerk reaction from the chairman and the board. If Levy and the rest of them weren’t going to have the balls to stick with AVB and his project, they should have just stayed with ‘Arry. At least then we would have known what we were getting and why we were doing it.

£100 million ain’t as much as you think

I absolutely loath this topic.I don’t want to write about it. But the circumstances dictate that I must. I have to.

am i really seeing unhappiness bale’s body language recently, or am i just paranoid?

It pains me to just think about Gareth Bale leaving Tottenham Hotspur, let alone write about it and think about it logically.

Bale has been my favorite players since I unearthed him as a young Southampton starlet in FIFA Manager Mode back in college in 2006. He’s left footed, takes free kicks and used to play left back. All attributes I share, though admittedly to a far lesser fan fair and effect. So that practically makes us twins… from different moms, different countries and seven years in between our births. You get what I mean. If you still need further proof of my old school love, I have two Spurs shirts with Gareth’s name on the back: one of with the #3 and the other with the #16.

So talking about my favorite player from my favorite club leaving for greener pastures — even it is for sums so large as an insane £100 million+player TBD bid from Real Madrid — literally makes me want to explode.

Many, however, would argue that turning down that kind of money is equally ludicrous. When proposed, that argument is normally quickly followed by a series of supporting points ranging from “his value will never be higher” to “Madrid won’t be back for him if you say no now.” And most of those supporting arguments are correct.

But there is one argument that really grinds my gears, and it always sounds something like “you could take all that money and reinvest it by bringing in 3 to 4 top players.”

Hearing that literally makes my brain melt. It’s this kind of incredibly one-dimensional thinking that proves why fans should never run football teams. And to explain why, let’s take a quick look at football economics.

Let’s just assume that Real Madrid bid a firm £100 million, Daniel Levy accepts, and Bale heads off to Spain. It just sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? I could certainly retire right now if I were given it. It’s £20 million more than the previous world record transfer fee also paid by Real for the services of one Cristiano Ronaldo. Hell, it’s enough to buy a second MLS franchise in New York.

But in reality, that £100 million transfer fee gives Spurs far less room to play with than one might think. Continue reading

those that shout the loudest

It’s amazing how quickly the collective mood can change.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale

isn’t the rule that if gareth looks this forlorn, the rest of us should too?

A month ago, I and my fellow Spurs supporters were ready to celebrate the club’s best season in the modern era. Tottenham were on pace for a third place finish, were arguably the favorite’s in the Europa League and we were trying not to talk about the points gap that seemed to be widening weekly between ourselves and the Goons. But now, we were bumped out of Europe by the measly FC Basel, we languish in fifth place in the league, and could be four points behind the scum before the end of the night.

Where did it all go wrong? What can Spurs do to save their season? And most importantly, who can we blame?

Continue reading

false hope… hopefully not

A Tottenham signing. In January. Before deadline day. An under-21 full international player, even.

Tottenham signing Lewis Holtby

holtby’s early arrival could mean tottenham will have a crazy transfer deadline day. or not.

Pardon me for a moment while I dislodge this tongue I just accidentally swallowed.

Though he had already agreed to a pre-contract deal for summer arrival at White Hart Lane, the sight of Lewis Holtby holding up a shirt with Villas-Boas at Spurs Lodge a full six months early was a welcomed surprise. A sought-after, rising talent joining Spurs in a window where market value for players is generally grossly inflated? Color me pessimistic, but I hadn’t expected an announcement of this kind this January. Our chairman, David Levy, just doesn’t operate that way.

Put simply: this month is often a barren one for Spurs transfer activity. At least when it comes to what I’d like to define as “legitimate” signings.

Continue reading

ten words or less #65

Thus far, 2013 has been a whirlwind. As with most years, there’s been the expected absurdity that accompanies the holiday season to keep me busy: the annual cornucopia of fixtures, plus the ensuing avalanche of (faux-)headlines that is the January transfer window.

inter milan's wesley sneijder

the only person who’s had a busier start to 2013 than WSOTP is wesley sneijder’s agent.

But, unlike previous years, things have been especially crazy around the imaginary WSOTP office during this already hectic time of year thanks to the eclipsing of a number of major milestones for the blog. First, I had the privilege of having my first ever article published by legendary blog In Bed With Maradona. Next came the announced partnership with the stalwarts at the Free Beer Movement. And then piggybacking off of that, over the last week I’ve seen the WSOTP Soccer Pub Atlas get further attention from at least three major MLS blogs… which has left me buried in pub submissions.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. If these were problems, they’re good ones to have. And thanks to the vast increase in exposure for the blog I’ve also seen an influx of new followers and likes from the social media channels. And if you happen to be one of the n00bs, don’t think I’m just a “soccer bar specialist” — as if that kind of specialization actually exists. I also write a bit, too. So make sure to check back regularly to read my musings on the world’s game.

So as I put some finishing touches on my next original treatise, let me kick the new year off in truly lazy fashion by sharing a few of my favorite links from the last week.

Sign this petition to end USSF support for Sepp Blatter. – theshinguardian.com

Kevin Prince Boateng takes a stand… and might walk away. – guardian.co.uk

“He eats other chairman sprinkled on his morning corn flakes.” – dearmrlevy.com

Want to find and watch an old match? Check this out. – reddit.com/fullmatch

A theory explaining why Gooners are the way they are.
- beardedgeniusofftwitter.tumblr.com

Is Baines just good, or good because he’s at Everton? – espnfc.com

Ben Olsen is a D.C. icon. – kckrs.com

My new year’s resolution to read more books got easier. – forbes.com

Checkout any time you like, but you can never leave. – dirtytackle.net

The true centennial crest for US Soccer. – thebeautifulgear.com

ten words or less #63

With my wife sick, this past weekend presented itself as an opportunity for a whirlwind of football viewing here at WSOTP. I’ve not kept any statistics on this kind of thing, but I can say with confidence that I watched more soccer this past weekend than I ever have before. Saturday included a marathon of five straight live games which, between Twitter and A.D.D., my brain had a hard time handling.

ONU Men's Soccer in the Final Four

seeing my alumnus polar bears make their way to the national title game might just have been the highlight of my weekend.

The morning started well with Spurs bagging a win, Arsenal and Chelsea both losing, and an unexpected, entertaining shootout between Manchester United and Reading. And while the (oddly timed) midday MLS Cup Final might have seemed the marquee match, I was really looking forward to watching my former college team — the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears — play in our school’s very first NCAA Division III National Championship match. My former teammate Milky even stopped by to take in both the late matches, also allowing me a solid four hours of Liverpool jibes…

Much to our chagrin, ONU were quickly picked apart by an admittedly impressive Messiah College side. But the result doesn’t dim my pride in my old team for everything they accomplished this year. Considering the program only had 8 winning seasons prior to my class’s arrival on campus, and had never made the National Tournament prior to Milky’s, to see the program continue to build on our successes — even despite a heavy loss — had us both beaming. The sky’s the limit from here, boys.

Anyway, below are some of the better links from around the world of soccer from the last week.

The perfect gift for your soccer fan? Sexy Managers Calendar. – yahoo.com

A photographic essay of grassroots football in third world countries.
- jessicahilltout.com

Beckham’s kids old enough to be called full kit wankers. – angelcitybrigade.net

Carlos Tévez’s paystub will make you very jealous. – dirtytackle.net

Hot Chip makes a seriously WTF FIFA-esque music video. – kckrs.com

Shout out to local Casey Weddle for being named All-American.
- ohiodominicanpanthers.com

“We need to be more assertive,” mumbles Rosický to nobody.
- fistedaway.wordpress.com

Floridian city most likely to land an MLS side… Tampa? – theoffsiderules.com

Once again, Spooky captures how I’m feeling about Spurs. – dearmrlevy.com

 A top-25 list for boots from Sneaker Report… I’m in. – sneakerreport.com

nowhere to look but forward

It’s an odd situation, writing about Harry Redknapp leaving his post as manager of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. The manner in which he’s leaving the club, by sacking, was not at all the way we expected it all to go down.

so as redknapp fades into spurs’ history, where do we go from here?

Really though, we Spurs supporters have been preparing ourselves for this moment ever since Capello vacated the England post back in February, when press darling ‘Arry was promptly declared defacto manager in waiting. He never denied his “lifelong” ambition to take over the English reigns — and maybe even falling just short of publicly flirting with FA chairman David Bernstein whenever the media inevitably asked him about the position at match pressers or his car window — and never once fully committing himself to Spurs for any amount of time. Understandably, this irked me.

So when the season quickly took a nosedive, and Redknapp refused to admit that his lack of focus could have had anything to do with it, I legitimately felt rage. I wanted him off, and even postured potential replacements, and eagerly awaited his departure.

Then Hodgson ended up being named England manager, meaning Redknapp would therefore be staying with Spurs… and suddenly he was negotiating a new contract.

What?!?!

Why we were choosing to reward the guy who had just spent the last four months publicly courting the FA instead of focusing on what should have been an easy stretch of our crucial campaign was beyond me. But I could see the logic in trying to tie him down for stability’s sake. Still, I had been openly declaring my desire for a new manager for half a season. And thanks to a surprising(ly intelligent) decision by the FA, I was suddenly forced to resign myself to another season of rollercoaster Redknapp football. The whole mess had me feeling very conflicted.

roy’s suprise three lions appointment forced us all to accept that we were stuck with redknapp.

Look, I’m very thankful for what Redknapp has done for us. He not only rescued us from relegation when he was first appointed four years ago, but he’s transformed us from an under performing club with high expectations into one of the most talented sides in English football with even higher expectations. But if this past season has taught us anything, it’s that we had reached a plateau with Harry at the helm. The lack of squad rotation, the poor tactical decisions, the patch-work “veterans on the cheap” transfer policy, the lack of decisiveness in moments of importance were all signs that Spurs aren’t going to advance any farther with Redknapp leading the way.

And the boys probably would have been fine with Harry in charge for another year or two. But things would have continued to grow stale and Redknapp was never going to display the same drive again.

Ultimately, it was the above mentioned contract talks that lead to his downfall. Redknapp’s repeated claims that he had “done what was asked” by finishing fourth, tells us that he thought he deserved an extension of three years as a reward. But those comments were always meant to skirt around the issue of Tottenham not getting to go to the Champions League, which was the actual goal Levy and company had in mind. If he had delivered that prize, his audacious claim for three more years (which he only desired so he could receive a better payoff when he was eventually sacked) wouldn’t have fallen on such unwilling ears. When Levy wouldn’t budge off his one-year extension offer, Redknapp ultimately knew his leverage had vaporized. Not only had not achieved the club’s legitimate goal, but he affected that outcome by his own actions.

The writing was on the wall if he passed on the one year extension, and passed he did. He’d rather fall on his own sword than take responsibility for what he had caused. Par for the course for Harry.

So if I got what I wanted, why am I still writing about the matter? Well, as you might expect from my often pessimistic outlooks, I have some concerns about the timing of losing our manager. With a number of other clubs having already filled coaching vacancies, Spurs are left with a thin list of candidates that check off all the boxes for the successor to Harry’s throne.

Who could we name now that would make the footballing world stand up and take notice of our ambition? Mourinho signed a contract extension with Madrid. Ancelotti is on a long-term deal with PSG where he has nearly unlimited funds at his disposal. Guus Hiddink finds himself in a similar situation with Russian rich-boys Anzhi. The promising Brendan Rodgers was scooped up by Liverpool, just as Paul Lambert was by Aston Villa. Marcelo Bielsa even re-upped with Athletic Bilbao. I’m not even going to consider Pep Guardiola, given that scenario doesn’t even seem realistic in a fantasy.

That leaves us with the at least the Premier League-experienced David Moyes, André Villas-Boas, Roberto Martinez and — god I hope not — Rafa “The fat Spanish waiter” Benítez. If Levy is willing to look for managers without Premier League experience, some of the names that have bounced around include Didier Deschamps, Fabio Capello and Laurent Blanc. Each has their faults, just as they each have benefits too.

moyes may be the bookmaker’s favorite to replace ‘arry, but whoever ends up getting the gig will have a tough task on his hands.

I don’t have any inside track on who’s gong to land the position, and I will undoubtedly have strong feelings about whomever is eventually named. Moyes seems the most likely, but that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. Football always finds a way to surprise. Whether any of the others mentioned are realistic options remains to be seen, as well.

All I know is that whoever we end up naming, it needs to happen in extremely short order. Like in the next week or so. And as soon as he’s named, Levy needs to immediately announce that said manager is being backed with a sizable transfer war chest and that Spurs are going nowhere. These two actions will not only help to reassure the worried fan base, but also serve to stop any potential squad exodus.

If Modrić wants to go, let him (so long as it’s for a ludicrous sum). But everyone else needs to stay, and reinforcements need to be recruited. Otherwise, Spurs will be going somewhere: back to mid-table mediocrity.

However, for this transition to really go as smoothly as possible, something else needs to happen that falls outside of Levy’s control. We, the fans, have to get behind the chairman and his pick for manager.

There’s no sense in looking backwards any longer. What’s done is done. It’s in the past, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Showing the players, the manager and the board that our love for the Cockerel isn’t affected by such dramatics will go a long way to getting this club back to the place we want to be. Maybe even higher.

new year’s resolutions

As 2011 winds to a close and the dawn of a new year is upon us, I imagine many of you are in the final stages of planning for the annual — and often eventually pointless — ritual called “New Year’s Resolutions”. Every year, millions around the world make commitments to achieve personal goals over the next year such as losing a set amount of weight, breaking bad habits or forming good new ones.

times square soccer ball

now that a very soccer ball-ish times square ball has dropped, it's time to think about what we want to have happen in 2012

However, despite these resolutions generally being made with the best of intentions, for one reason or another, we normally have a hard time keeping them. Scientists tell us that only 12% of all of New Year’s Resolutions are actually met by year’s end, a rate poor enough to make you wonder why we even make them in the first place.

Personally, I like to take the easy way out by not botering to make resolutions, period. By taking this approach, it prevents me from feeling disappointed when I don’t meet the overly ambitious targets I always end up setting for myself. After all, the easiest goals to achieve are the one’s you never make… or something like that.

But just because I don’t set my own resolutions, that doesn’t mean that I can’t make empty promises for other people instead.

Why pass up soaking in all of the instant gratification of setting ambitious goals, especially when I’m not responsible for any of the work that goes into turning dreams into reality?!

With that in mind, I present to you my idealistic 2012 World Football New Year’s Resolutions list:

For Mario Balotelli to keep being… Mario Balotelli

 balotelli why always me

i don't know why, mario... but let's hope it stays that way.

To say that the young Manchester City starlet has endured a roller coaster 2011 might just be the understatement of the year. From the highs of driving around Manchester’s city centre in a convertible giving fans high fives, to the lows of lighting his own bathroom on fire with fireworks, the Italian starlet has been nothing short of a machine at producing ridiculous headlines. He seems more at home in a made-up comic strip than in the life of a real, live professional athlete. And that’s just the way we like it, especially since he tends to make my job writing significantly easier. So please, Super Mario, don’t go changing anything. Just keep being you: it’s what you do best.

For Jürgen Klinsmann to show his grand USMNT experiment is actually working.

Now, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m all for Klinsmann’s efforts to reshape the national team and build it a new identity, and I know that this transformation won’t happen overnight. It needs some time to set in, like any master plan, and I feel like a pretty patient guy. However, it’s hard to stomach loses and ties against sides that we had been — and should still be — beating. I’m not asking for us to start rolling over Mexico like the Spanish would Andorra, but I would prefer to see us start stringing together some positive results sooner rather than later. A continued run of bad showings could, after all, have a devastating impact on the team’s moral and confidence. And that’s definitely not something we need heading into World Cup qualifying.

For John Terry to finally get what’s coming to him.

I’ve made no secret for my distaste for Terry in this space, so it’s not surprising that I would want for fate to finally catch up with the bastard in 2012. And even though I don’t need to recant all of his sins since most of them have played out publicly, I still want to. So, here’s why John’s karma is long overdue to bite Mr. Chelsea: 2001) drunkenly taunts American tourists at Heathrow airport immediately after 9/11, 2002) charged with assault for an altercation with a nightclub bouncer, 2009) takes cash bribes to give unauthorized tours of Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, 2010) may or may not have had an affair with a former teammate/friend’s baby mama, 2011) racially abuses the younger brother of international teammate during a match. Even though he’s been “cleared” in a majority of those cases, how can one guy be investigated for so many claims and they all be false? Oh yeah, they can’t. Cue the Law & Order dun-dun!

For Jose Mourinho to finally to overhaul Barcelona as the best side in Spain.

mourinho eye poke

if mourinho doesn't come out on top soon, i fear for eyes the world over.

I know it’s pretty unrealistic to think this could happen in the 2012 calendar year, despite the fact that Real are currently three points clear of rivals Barça going into the Winter Break. Pep Guardiola and his men definitely still have a death-grip like hold over Mourinho and his charges’ confidence, as is evident with their impressive strings of results in the multitude of Clásicos in 2011. And while I’d love to see Los Blancos regain the edge in the rivalry for reasons that include restoring “parity” to Spain (and I very loosely use the word parity considering it’s a league where only two teams ever win) and being a fan, my main reason for wanting to see Mourinho finally overcome his demons is much, much more important. You see, I fear that if the Special One’s galácticos don’t take over the crown as Spain’s best soon, I think he’s going to poke out EVERYONE’s eyes.

For Alex Morgan to increase the number of shoots she books like this one.

So what if I’m married? I’m allowed to have internet crushes on attractive celebrities just like anyone else. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with desiring to see more scantily clad pictures of my chosen crush. I mean as far as the picture shown, it underlines her ability to look attractive in both classy and sporty attire, not to mention her ability to knock the balls around… knock balls around the pitch you dirty perverts. And thanks to the WUSA WPS getting a renewed lease on life from US Soccer, Miss Morgan should stay in the limelight just a little bit more.

For Daniel Levy to not only continue sticking to his guns on not selling, but also pull the trigger on some big buys too.

Look, I’m stoked that the Tottenham chairman told Chelsea to shove their £40 million for Modrić where the sun doesn’t shine over the summer. It showed ambition, and sent a message to the rest of the growing egos in the locker room that nobody was bigger than the club. But aside from the last minute swoop for Rafa van der Vaart two summers ago and the bargain buying of Scott Parker from a desperate-for-cash West Ham, Levy hasn’t exactly shown any willingness to spend to match the club’s ambition. Though the free signing of Brad Friedel and the short-term solution of Adebayor up top have proven to be shrewd bits of business, the club desperately need to make a statement buy. Otherwise, can Spurs really consider themselves title challengers if we’re the only side that’s not continuously bringing in world class, young talent? I don’t think so.

For Neymar to finally move to a team in Europe, and for said team, to make him cut his hair.

neymar and his hair

hey, rufio. leave your hair in brazil once you leave for europe.

It might just be me, but I’ve grown extremely tired of the weekly Neymar transfer rumors. At this point, I’m not sure if the constant stream of “done deal” rumors to Real Madrid/Barcelona are actually true, or if it’s just an elaborate ruse by Santos to raise their asking price for the extremely talented young starlet. And if anything was learned from Barcelona wiping the floor with Santos at the Club World Cup final, it’s that Neymar needs to move on to a club where he’ll be pushed to raise the level of his game… and that clearly can’t happen in Brazil. And let’s be honest, a classier club will actually make the kid cut off his stupid rooster hair so he looks like a proper footballer.

For Blackburn Rovers owners Venkeys to finally put their manager out of his misery.

Don’t let yesterday’s upset win away at Old Trafford fool you: even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time. Said plainly, Rovers boss Steve Keane is not a Premier League caliber manager. The rumors of his impending sacking have been circulating since at least the tail end of last season. And to be completely honest with you, I have no clue how he’s still in his job. The Ewood Park outfit have struggled in nearly every department on field this season, and the fans have stood in unison for months saying that want the poor guy out. Maybe the Venkeys think they can save themselves from the drop if they just stick it out with the same manager all season, who knows. But regardless of whether you have a shit manager or not, if you don’t end up spending a significant amount of money to bring in fresh blood this January, you are going down.

For Carlos Tévez to end up at A.C. Milan.

With the dispute between Carlitos and City having now extended an entire half of a season, the Citizens are finally ready to rid themselves of this headache permanently. And luckily, they’ve lowered their asking price enough that a few other clubs are at least considering the thought of making a move for the temperamental striker. Though Corinthians have renewed their interest, the club making the most noise about signing Tévez are the Rosaneri. So why do I want him to end up there? Well, if Carlos is signed permanently, Milan will have the undisputed craziest front line in the world: Robinho (the brat), Pato (the indifferent), Cassano (the mad hatter), Ibrahimović (the bully) and Tévez (the ego). And with Silvio Berlusconi resuming his duties as club chairman, I’m really hoping he forces Allegri to play all five of them at once.

And lastly, for Fernando Torres to keep looking like this:

sulking torres on chelsea bench

ten words or less #38

sadly, this is how i probably appear to anyone from europe.

Between the Euro qualifiers, friendlies, the League matches and the Champions/Europa League qualifiers, I have to admit that I’m having a hard time following this season. Everything feels so… disjointed.

If it weren’t for Rooney being an idiot and Tottenham throwing away a winnable match, I wouldn’t feel like I know what’s going on this season at all.

Assou-Ekotto always tells it like it is. – mirror.co.uk

Another game for the soccer bar I’ll probably never own. – theoriginalwinger.com

The science is in: football is good for men. – independent.ie

The Brasileirão’s in danger of becoming a two-horse race. – theelastico.com

Ever wanted to know why random strangers wear certain jerseys? - footballists.wordpress.com

Today I Learned: Liverpool’s Pepe Reina has OCD. – dirty tackle @ yahoo.com

Paying Modrić what he deserves could be very dangerous. – telegraph.co.uk