So 2015 has been the summer of soccer to end all summers of soccer. There has been at least one — and often times two or three — “major” international tournament(s) going on each week, ranging from the less-prominent youth World Cups and Gold Cups to the more prestigious Women’s World Cup and Copa America. Those fell on top of all of the normal domestic action still on going and the ever-moving river of transfer news that consumes every summer. And to think we’ve not even reached the summer tune-up friendlies all of the European sides will be playing out around the globe in the weeks to come.
I’m not going to lie: it’s been exhausting to cover. As you’ve probably noticed, between watching all of the action, my commentating gig with the Cincinnati Saints, designing match posters and emceeing watch parties with thousands of people — finding time to write hasn’t exactly been easy. Not to mention job, home and family responsibilities. I’m making excuses here, but I honestly have missed writing.
So with that in mind, I’ve been hard at work on a number of stories both local, national and international. And hopefully you’ll end up seeing them in a timely fashion, too. But in the mean time, I’ll attempt to appease you with some of my favorite links from the last week or so.
With no side relegated during the next to last round of the season in the Premier League, that means the race for the final drop spot remains a big talking point on this week’s #Pondcast. Listen in as D.J. and Jeremy go through the scenarios each of Hull, Sunderland and Newcastle need to stave off, as well as wax poetic on Steven Gerrard’s last game at Anfield. Also on this week’s episode are reflections on USL’s return to Cincinnati — from not only ourselves, but also listeners too — a look back at the second legs of the Champions League semifinals, and off the field issues overshadowing much needed wins for two MLS sides, and much more.
ALSO A FAVOR TO ASK: On next week’s podcast, the guys will be eulogizing their respective clubs’ seasons… and we want to hear your eulogies for your own clubs! Just as with any questions or topics you want us to cover next week, shoot your’s to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit us up on social media via links at the bottom of the page.
And of course, don’t forget to subscribe below to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.
The fates of two Premier League sides were decided this past weekend, with Burnley and QPR both officially relegated. And a similar fate awaits one more, but who that is — Sunderland, Hull City, maybe even Newcastle? — remains to be seen. And in Episode 38 of the #Pondcast, the guys delve into those sides and their remaining fixtures. Also on this week, our thoughts on the first legs of the Champions League semifinals, the upcoming FIFA elections, the first ever MLS New York City Derby (or whatever you want to call it), and much much more.
Have a question that you want to ask on next week’s podcast, reach out to us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And subscribe below to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.
While things on the writing front haven’t completely picked back up yet — I’ve had a few original pieces pop out of my brain recently — things on the design front have really picked up a bit. In addition to the recently announced Saints Matchday Poster project eating up gobs of my time, there’s also been work on the Women’s World Cup front too with at least one new shirt design and a Canada 2015 wall chart in progress too. So while I’m stoked to be working on all of that stuff, I wanted to apologize for the continued low output on the written side of things.
And as I normally do in these situations, I’ll attempt to bribe you to stick around a bit longer with some of my favorite links from the last week or so in the world of football. It’s working, right?
A weekend of outrageous goals on both sides of the pond has me feeling a little like I have a football hangover. While there’s no doubt that I enjoyed myself and all of the breathtaking strikes, I definitely over indulged this weekend, too. Attempting to sit down and write last night, my mind felt like it was stuffed so full that I couldn’t even crank out coherent sentences. I’m not even sure that what I’m writing right now is readable — it seems like it is, right now anyway. So while I’m waiting for my brain to gain back some of its halfway decent writing ability, I present to you a sampling of other people’s works that I found enjoyable over the last week or so.
And stay tuned later today, as we’ll have the latest Pondcast up for your listening enjoyment, too.
For those who have followed Wrong Side of Pond for any length of time longer than a week or two, you’re probably well aware of my deep love for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Longer-time followers are probably also familiar with my obsession with former Lillywhites star and current Real Madrid galáctico Gareth Bale.
Admittedly, it was pretty rough watching Bale depart for the Spanish capital two seasons ago. Okay, it downright sucked. But given time, it’s at least been a pill that could swallow.
I understand Bale’s ambition to play for arguably the greatest club of all time. He “dreamed” of playing for them as a schoolboy. Since his move to Iberia, he’s achieved tremendous success too. Those successes have ranged from seemingly less impressive feats such as holding down a spot in their starting XI — a much harder task at Madrid than it might seem — to scoring the winning goal to help Madrid lift their long-sought tenth Champions League trophy. Too, it’s not like he went to a direct rival and Spurs did receive a pleasant sum of Euros for parting ways with him. So for all of those reasons, I’ve been able to accept his successes even though he’s not been enjoying them while wearing a Spurs’ shirt.
However, with rumors of Bale moving on to Manchester United refusing to go away, I’ll admit that’s a pill I’m less inclined to take.
Despite most of Europe in the midst of a winter break and MLS being in a bit of dull period during its off season, the last podcast of 2014 still has plenty to offer. D.J. and Jeremy do their best to recall all of the Premier League action from Boxing Day and the past weekend’s double dose of fixtures, including hashing out the surprise managerial moves expected from Crystal Palace (#PardewIN!) and yet to be made by (Coloccini?). The guys also take a look back at the best and worst of world football from 2014, as well as making a few bold predictions for 2015. And as is normally the case, you’ll get your normal weekly servings of Fantasy Update, Fulham Watch and everyone’s favorite, Winners & Wankers.
Don’t forget that we will still want to answer your questions and talk about the topics that interest you in the “Pondcasts” coming in 2015. So send them to us via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]comorhit us up on the social media links on the bottom of the page.
As 2014 winds down to a close, the world of soccer continues on at a torrid pace. And since you’ll probably have ample downtime to fill as you suffer through the annual family gatherings, the latest episode of the “Pondcast” is a perfect way to keep yourself entertained. Listen in as the guys talk about a throng of world-class finishes from last weekend’s highly interesting slate of Premier League matches, offer up a review of the Champions League Round of 16 draw, and chat about an MLS offseason that continues to throw news at us at an almost breakneck pace — among other things. You’ll also find weekly Winners & Wankers, Fulham Watch and Fantasy League Update segments, per usual. So find a secluded corner at Grandma’s house and grab your headphones, as we provide you a solid 80 minutes of soccer listening.
If you happen to think of question or topic you want us to cover on next week’s episode — yes, we’ll be offering you up one more before 2015 — send it our way via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]comorhit us up on the social media links on the bottom of the page.
If I asked a group of fans to name the top active manager in football today, what names would you expect to see picked?
I’d expect we would see an avalanche of responses for José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. And rightly so: both managers have produced incredible results over the last five or so years. I’d hope Atlético’s Diego Simeone would get a few votes. And I’d wager Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp would get a few too — though given his side’s disastrous form, probably not as many as a year or two ago. Jogi Löw or Vicente Del Bosque? Ok. Manuel Pelligrini or Louis Van Gaal? Maybe. Hell, a few naive Arsenal supporters might even still be willing to throw Arsène Wenger out there, but that number is likely dwindling too. Jürgen Klinsmann? I kid, I kid.
But there’s one name I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he received little to no votes: current Real Madrid supremo, Carlo Ancelotti.
My reasons for believing that aren’t just anecdotal either. I’ve had literally had the hypothetical discussion above several times before. And rarely ever does Ancelotti’s name come up. Which is odd, because the guy’s track record is pretty damn impressive.
With a big match on the horizon this weekend in domestic football — you know, the MLS Cup Final — we thought it high time to gather the local readers/supporters together again with another watch party at our favorite local pub, Rhinehaus in Over-the-Rhine. So if you happen to be in Cincinnati this coming Sunday (12/7), be sure to swing by to have a pint with the #Pondcast team and watch as Landon does battle with Jones in the former’s last ever professional soccer match. In fact, if you are going to be in town, let us know you’re attending by RSVPing here.
In the mean time, entertain yourselves by following any of the ten links below that I dug up from around the wide world web over the last week.