round up #14

turmoil in the world of football (postponements like i’ve never seen in england, the togo bus shooting, liverpool’s bumbling boardroom idiots, etc.) has left me debating what i should write my next long article about. it’s like i can’t get my head wrapped around something before another major story breaks.

oh well, it could be worse. at least there’s plenty to write about, right? so while i finish my mental debate on what my next main course post will be for you, i’ll give you an appetizer sampler of some of the interesting links i’ve dug up in the last week or so.

want to know when you should add glen johnson back to your fantasy team? well honestly, you shouldn't have a single scouser on your team at all.

english premier league injury table –
if you’re like me, you spend far too much time obsessing over your fantasy premier league team. who should i start in goal? should i drop anyone that plays for liverpool? so on and so forth. but the one thing that always seems to be at the top of my fantasy concerns is when my injured “star players” will be returning from injuries. it’s always a risky venture to drop an injured fabregas/rooney/gerrard/etc. as they produce so many points when healthy, and they’re very difficult to reacquire due to their ever raising prices. but if they’re out for a fortnight instead of just a game, would it be worth me picking up players that will give me more points than my subs?

well, i can’t answer that question for you. but i can provide you with this lovely link. has a team by team analysis of every single first team player that is injured, complete with the type of injury and an expected return date. i’ve been searching for this type of website for ages, as is the best way to keep an eye on when big names will be returning for action. why i’m sharing this, giving my competitors one of my more useful fantasy tools, i don’t know.

USSF launches new second division –
the u.s. soccer community just dodged another potentially fatal bullet, after it was announced that the USSF has finally sanctioned a second tier league. before the new year, the governing body rejected applications from both the entrenched USL and the newly formed NASL  for second division status. the new, temporary solution sees the USSF overseeing a two conference league representing each league. each conference will lose a team to MLS in the 2011 season (portland and vancouver), to be replaced with expansion squads the following year (atlanta and new york). whether this completely settles the issues that caused the schism between USL and some member clubs ($$$) remains to be seen. however, with the potential for an MLS lockout looking ever more likely, the USSF could not afford another disaster to the reputation of the sport in a world cup year.

micah richards slams snowball in robinho’s face –
i’ve grown to despise robinho over the last few years. i liked the kid when he was at madrid: he showed glimpses of brilliance and looked to be promising down the road. but he never looked to be trying very hard, which always rubbed me the wrong way. when he pined to be sold two summers ago, i was more than okay with his punishment sale to manchester city. his year and a half as a citizen have been more “meh” than “wow,” and he’s continued to grumble for another transfer and make unauthorized returns to brazil. basically he’s turned into a full-fledged, self-entitled, spoiled brat. so when i see his teammate micah richards slam a snowball in his face from less than a foot away, i can’t help but giggle uncontrollably.

"look how awesome i am guys! my snowball is so much bigger than yo... arghrgarahdh!"

while i’m not happy about all of the postponed games in england, this one picture makes all of the snow and ice more than worth it.

arsenal agree to pay bolton fans’ travel costs –
the frozen wasteland that is great britain does have some warmth left in it after all. the premier league fixture list has been ravaged by the heavy snowfall and below freezing temperatures as of late, causing the postponement of up to 80% of all fixtures in the isles the last ten days. many of the premier league stadiums worked around the clock to try to keep their scheduled kick-offs from being canceled, though heated pitches and snow crews weren’t able to save a majority of the games. unfortunately for bolton fans, last wednesday’s premier league fixture against the wanderers was called only four hours before kick off, meaning those traveling from the northeast were already well on their way to north london. the arsenal front office then did something few clubs are willing to do: they decided to foot the bill for any travel expenses incurred by traveling bolton fans. this is hardly surprising though, as the gunners are consistently one of the best run clubs in england. it’s nice to see that not every club is “all about the money.”

dennis bergkamp goal, arsenal vs. newcastle –
hardly new news, but always worth a mention. as the “lists of the decade” continued to trickle through the media in recent weeks, one of my favorites was the sun’s “top 20 goals of the decade”. sitting rock solid at the top was arguably one of the greatest goals ever scored, if judged on pure creativity at least. the enigmatic dennis bergkamp scored an absolute beauty against newcastle in 2002 at st. james’ park. have a look below, and judge for yourself.

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