i love you, man

it’s often extremely difficult as a man to express one’s emotions. we’re all supposed to be stoic and told to ignore our feelings. instead we should be off doing manly things like building bridges with our bare hands, and crushing skulls on our hairy chests whenever someone insults our favored clubs.

but let’s be honest: we’re all humans here, and all of us have sissy, woman-like feelings stirring inside us.

we shouldn’t have to hide our feelings… and i’m going to do something about it. today, i’m declaring my love for my favorite people in football. they could be players, they could be managers, they could be vocal voices in the footballing community. but to me, they’re all an important part of my world, and it wouldn’t be as awesome of a place without them.

so read on emotional men and women, and learn why i think these people deserve not just my love… but also yours.

i mean come on... how can you not love arshavin?

cesc fàbregas
not that my history of cesc-centered stories doesn’t give this away already, but my official man crush as far as football is concerned is the arsenal and spain midfielder. fab4 is my ideal and favorite footballer… even though he plays for and will play for my two teams’ most hated rivals. i don’t care: he’s that good. already rated as one of the best distributing midfielders in the world at the ripe age of 23 (and has been for some time), i’m captivated by his style of play. he has one of the best first touches in the game, and he plays ridiculously simple yet brilliant passes. to put if plainly, if were to take over the footballing decisions at manchester city, i would pay him whatever amount it took –£300k a week maybe?– to convince him to bypass going back to barça to make him join my team.

jose mourinho
jose has one the champions league twice (winning it with porto is like successfully climbing mt. everest… without a jacket), he’s guided teams to league championships his first year in charge in three countries, and none of his teams have lost a home match in any competition since i was in college. until someone gives me enough evidence to prove otherwise, the self proclaimed “special one” is hands down the best manager on the planet. putting aside his coaching credentials, mourinho is also arguably one of the cockiest human beings alive. couple that with his willingness to keep his mouth flapping and talking shit to rival coaches (this is one of his most sublime and brilliant tactics by the way. he diverts media attention away from his team to himself, thus allowing the players to focus on playing), and my love for jose grows fonder every time i hear one his famous quotes.

andrei arshavin
yes, i know that placing two arsenal players on my list of people i love in football is near grounds for being convicted of treason by the yid faithful. i’m sure that liverpool fans probably aren’t too fond of him either. but, if you haven’t read andrei’s blog yet, then you are missing out. arshavin is hands down one of the unintentionally funniest people on this planet EVER. sure, his football skills can be fancy from time to time too… but it’s arshavin’s willingness to openly share his intense weirdness with the world that makes me truly love him.

tommy smyth
i love the beloved irishman at ESPN… wait, brain fart. i meant to say that i hate tommy smyth. i would pay vast sums of someone else’s money to make it possible to press a button on my remote that would cause him great pain each time i heard him say a team was trying to “punch the ol’ onion bag.” he’s an awful commentator to say the least, usually contributing about as much game analysis as your average household cat. this is worrisome, as he is incapable of providing a deeper understanding of the game to ESPN’s growing soccer audience. and since smyth lacks any professional playing experience, that means that he and i are equally qualified to call games. i need to stop talking about him before i give myself an aneurism.

diego maradona
nevermind that diego is arguably the best player of all time (at least, that’s how i rate him), or the fact that he balled all over everyone everywhere he went on coke. i love maradona, because, well he’s crazy. it’s been 15 years since he last laced up his boots for a competitive match, yet hardly a year has gone by since where he isn’t stealing football headlines across the globe. his ongoing rivalry with pelé. dedicating his fifa player of the century award to fidel castro, whom he also has tattooed on his leg. weight struggles of titanic proportion… as in he apparently swallowed a portion of  the actual titanic. nearly dying. twice. he publicly promised to run naked through buenos aires if he lead argentina to world cup glory last summer. he flops around on the sideline like a fish. he fluently speaks gibberish, such as when he described leo messi’s amazing skill by saying he “is having a kick around with jesus.” oh diego, how i love you.

jens lehmann
ah, this list wouldn’t be complete without the recently retired german shot stopper. i don’t so much love lehmann as much as i love to hate him. that, and he’s clinically insane. jens would talk smack about the players on his own team (though, he was pretty much spot on about almunia being crap). jens would pee on the field during a game. jens will beat up fans. jens will skip team functions to make an appearance at oktoberfest. sigh… it’s like shooting fish in a barrel with this guy.

am i racist if i say one welshman looks like a monkey?

gareth bale
looks like donkey kong, but plays like a badass. bale is the next player that every englishman wishes wasn’t welsh (ryan giggs, take your bow). as stoked as i was when we signed him as a youngster after i “discovered” him on fifa 2007, my favorite spur was almost sold off last season as he hadn’t quite lived up to expectations after being held back by some injuries early in his time at white hart lane. but bale got his chance last year after b.a.e. went down hurt, and took it he did. his blistering pace and eagerness to attack make him an amazingly fun player to watch. let’s just hope spurs don’t decide to cash in on him like they have to so many of our other stars.

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