round up #31

I have to admit that I’m a little depressed this week. I cancelled a vacation day that I had planned for watching the second leg of the Tottenham-Real Madrid Champions League quarter-final, as it makes no sense to waste such a precious commodity on a tie that will surely see my favorite team exit. I’m not sure whether I’m more sad about Spurs’ eventual exit, or by the fact that I’m giving up a vacation day. Oh well, another 5-day workweek for me.

real salt lake celebrate their win against saprissa
is this the best MLS side we’ve ever seen?

While I’m busy bumbling my way through another rainy monday in Ohio, I thought I could provide you with som interesting links from around the tubes and my tangent thoughts associated with them.

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Actually, you are quite divisible – fromaleftwing.blogspot.com
Retro jersey design is all the rage these days and I, for one, am a big fan of the movement. Retro inspiration tends to be me minimalist in nature, something I highly value in design both inside and outside of football fashions. with Umbro and parent company Nike leading the retro charge, we’ve recently been given some excellent kits that hearken iconic, cultural symbols of days past.

However, even hip and popular designing trends can produce stinkers. And the new USWNT kits are definitely a big stinker. In a similar move to France’s badass aways inspired by traditional french naval uniforms, the new American women’s kit pays homage to nursing uniforms from the World War II era. Is this jersey supposed to trick Sepp Blatter into thinking that the women’s game is finally taking his advice? Because if so, they’re doing an awful job at sexing the game up with low-cut shirts that still cover them up. Nike blew a massive opportunity to create a super cool and sexy nurse kit.

Why Arsene Wenger’s all-powerful status may come to an end – goal.com
Another week goes by, another opportunity for Wenger to make excuses. There have been growing concerns over the last season or two whether the Gunners are really benefiting from being solely governed by King Arsene, and whether the professor is finally losing the course. However, Arsenal are likely going to finish their sixth consecutive season without a trophy. That’s plenty of time for the fans and media to finally start questioning his methods.

It’s an interesting idea to hypothesize that, with American Stan kroenke set to launch a takeover of Arsenal, this could spell the demise of the Frenchman’s complete control of the club’s sporting initiatives. Purging Arsene of some of or part of the responsibilities that he currently governs with an iron fist may allow him to focus fully on what should be his main priority: the results on the pitch.

Player answers phone during match, takes out opponent – dirty tackle @ yahoo.com
Seriously, who answers their freaking phone during a match? As video below shows, apparently guys who play German amateur football do. Unless it’s a family emergency, your house is burning down, or a call up to the national team, there is no acceptable reason to take a call while playing. And since this dude was willing to interrupt his call to go crack some skull, I’m guessing that it wasn’t such an important call to begin with.

Now dick tackle aside, how about the form on that tackle?! Seemingly out of the action while chatting away like your average teenage girl on their T-Mobile Sidekick, Matthias Hilbrands swoops in and blows up the opposing player on the break for Fortuna Veenhusen. I’d also like to note that it was a clean tackle. so the next question becomes, “Why the yellow?”

RSL reserves topple Revolution – soccerbyives.com
I don’t know that we’ve ever seen an MLS side that’s as good as the current incarnation of Real Salt Lake. Despite the club having to defend its surprise MLS Cup championship last season, the Utahns (ick… wouldn’t Utovian sound cooler?) are steadily becoming a force to be reckoned with in the US. Having become the first MLS club ever to advance to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League last week, manager Jason Kreis decided to give a majority of his first team a much-needed rest against New England. And that was plenty good enough for the rough affair.

The real test, however, still awaits RSL. American sides have a horrendous 1 for 12 record against Mexican sides over two legs, and Salt Lake will be facing one in the final (Monterrey). There is some hope though, as one of only two MLS sides to ever beat a Mexican team is… drumroll please… Real Salt Lake! And if they are able to prevail in the continental championship, I may actually consider forgiving them for the stupid, stupid name.

Respect? I remember that one time at Old Trafford… – guardian.co.uk
According to Premier League chief dick Scudamore, next season everyone will respect the referees or else. Having grown tired of the near-constant bad behavior of the players in his league, he intends to crack down on the worst offence being committed by the ruffians — disrespecting the referees. To quote a tweet by the poorly punctuated Robbie Savage:

To much inconsistency in decisions from authorities elbowing wrong , air rifles wrong , swearing wrong, one only gets punished !

Scudamore’s efforts, while understandable, are way off base. First, there are bigger issues to tackle in his league than swearing at, surrounding,  or post-match calling out of a referee. Secondly, he is completely glossing over the bigger problem all together with respecting referees: his officials have been making a lot of mistakes lately.

How is a player/manager supposed to accept the criticisms of the fans and media, yet not be allowed to vocalize his criticisms of a referee who’s made an obvious mistake that could have had a huge impact on the outcome of the match? If you ask me, it doesn’t seem fair that referees are exempt from public thrashing that players receive when they don’t meet the grade.

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