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Archive for the ‘Champions League’ Category

With the transfer season window closing in like doors of a subway car, players and coaches are rushing to get on the right side of the tracks.  One club, PSV Eindhoven has become so desperate they have sought out the efforts of an extremely talented and good looking but somewhat renegade player, namely Me.  I received the following correspondence a few days ago.

Hello Player,

How are you doing today? Hope you are fine. I just want to use this opportunity to inform you of the new offer which i have for you in
P.S.V Eindhoven Football club in Holland, and I can also take you to a
soccer club in New-Zealand,Australia and United State of America. If you are interested, i will advice you to send me your CV(RESUME) so that i can access and forward to the club. As i told you earlier on that Trends
will serve you and link you to the best team suited your taste but you need
to train hard. I also want to advice you to take the Full advantage which
Trends International have for you. I want you to include your
telephone
Number in your next reply so that i can call you for better
explanation. Thank you and Hope to hear from you.

YOURS IN SPORTS

MR JOHN

TRENDS INTERNATIONALS SPORTS

I have frequently received offers to join Droylsden and Wrexham but the chance to play in the European theater was not a chance I could pass up.  So I duly responded….

 Dear Mr. John,

I am very interested in your email.  Bellow I have listed my soccer experience and profile for your information.  I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future and greatly anticipate a strong partnership between the two of us in the world of football.

FlamingWok66, 22.
Nationality: British
Religion: Football
Positions:  Left Back, Missionary

Experience:
2007- Ron T. Colts Kickball tournament  – 2nd place

2006-2007 SOCA Division II  – Captain CSKA Elmo
2005-2006 SOCA Division III – Captain CSKA Elmo

2004-2005 SOCA Tornadoes- Coach (14W-1L)

2003 – Vice-Captain Cross Country Bryanston School, England

                                                Colours awarded (2002,2003)

1992 – Wolves (Atlanta, YMCA)
1991-  Attack ( Atlanta, YMCA)

I hope you find the above information helpful as we scribble the beginnings of football history back and forth.

Yours Truly,
FlamingWok

I received the following correspondence but a few minutes ago:

Hello Flaming

   How are you doing?i will like to inform you that  i Love your Cv when i saw it yesterday and i will tell you i have forwarded your  Cv to P.S.V Eindhoven Football club in Holland for screening…

   i will contact you maybe today or tomorrow when the club contact me on the result….

  I will like you to send me your cell phone number and here is my number to call me +2348050355768  hoping to hear from you ..

 Are you training oftenly?????

  Thanks

Mr John

I will keep you updated on my career but don’t be surprised to see a ridiculously good looking new player at PSV.

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I am surprisingly not as gutted as I would have expected to be after having just finished watching Liverpool lose in the European Cup final. The fact that Milan’s first goal was a handball, or that the referee–under whose watchful eye Milan have not lost a Champions League game, and Liverpool have never scored a goal, who was picked by a committee headed by an Italian, a representative of a league that has never been known to be corrupt–blew the full time whistle at least a minute too early does not bother me. This is because Liverpool did not deserve to win this game due to Carlo Ancelotti doing his homework.

The Milan boss must have watched game film from the Premier League games as opposed to Liverpool’s European campaign, because this played out exactly like the typical Liverpool League game. Liverpool dominated possession, created numerous chances, yet were found lacking in the final third. Meanwhile, “beautiful” Milan were almost Bolton-esque, nicking a goal from a set piece that came against the run of play and then getting another (albeit an extremely well crafted and well taken one) while Liverpool were chasing the game at the end. I’m sure many of the ill-informed pundits and casual observers will blame Liverpool for this game not being up to snuff entertainment wise, as that seems to be the repuation that everyone clings to, but this one was not our fault.

On a positive note, I got my name mentioned over at DeadOn, which is a site I highly recommend. Also, Liverpool’s loss has removed any temptation I may have had to celebrate, thus leaving me primed for the Lost season finale. My prediction is that Desmond dies in Charlie’s place, but is somehow reborn in another parallel universe. Or something.

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Flashback to the Champions League Final of 2005. Liverpool were taking on AC Milan, I was living out of my car, Jose Mourinho was whinging about “the better team not winning”, and Djimi Traore was featuring prominently in the Liverpool defense.

Thankfully, two of those things have since then changed. I now live in a Jersey-Shore-motelesque apartment, and Champions League winner Djimi Traore is making a mockery of the game somewhere else. The other two, though, have stayed the same. Jose is still complaining about something, and Liverpool and AC Milan will meet in the European Cup final.

Kaka proved without a doubt tonight that he is the best player in the world. His goal was wonderfully taken and every time he had the ball you had the sense that something was going to happen. Gattuso was also immense, and as I noted last week, when he is in the game United can’t play the free flowing football that saw them take the lead in the first leg. I almost feel bad for United; most people (i.e. xenophobic, jingoistic Englishmen) thought that they would walk through, and they played a real stinker. The key word in that previous sentence, though, is almost.

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I don’t know if my blood pressure has reached a level that’s safe enough to do a rational analysis of tonight’s match yet–every big Liverpool match is a heart attack waiting to happen–but I wanted to make a quick mention of Jose’s post-match comments.

As he did at this juncture two years ago, Mourinho said after going out in the Champions League Semifinals to Liverpool that the best team did not win. While this may have actually been the case in 2005, I just do not see how he can assert that this time around. Liverpool had the better of the chances, and could have won the game in extra time rather than penalties; I think that Ferreira played Kuyt onside, but that point is moot. I wonder if this loss, coupled with the draw with Bolton, spells the end of Mourinho’s tenure at the Bridge. I, for one, hope not, because even though I often do not agree with what he says it’s much more interesting than listening to the same cliche answers over and over again.

Although, judging by how asserting that the team that played the best football did not win is beginning to become a regular habit with him, maybe he’s just practicing for if he takes over Arsenal.

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The first leg went about as poorly as possible for me; a Manc win coupled with a Liverpool loss was the last thing I wanted to happen. Luckily nothing is officially decided until this time next week, and both ties hang in the balance.

Wimpering Puppy?: Tuesday’s 3-2 Manchester United victory over AC Milan was the type of back and forth, free-flowing game that us ignorant Yanks wish could happen all the time. I had predicted before the game that either Kaka or Ronaldo would decide the outcome, but I had neglected to take into account Wayne Rooney’s awakening from his 3 year European slumber. Kaka was brilliant, but Ronaldo was surprisingly quiet. Even though he did get the opener, Ronaldo’s goal was down more to Dida’s increasingly regular ineptitude rather than anything brilliant on Ronaldo’s part. My man of the match has to go to whoever it was that caused Gennaro Gattuso to leave the game injured. You could palpably see the balance of power in the match shift the moment he left the game. The “Snarling Dog” will need to get himself back if Milan are to go through to the final.

Twins 2: Starring Peter Crouch and Sean Wright-Phillips: That little blurb has nothing to do with the game, I just thought it was some amusing imagery. I don’t really have much to say about this game; Chelsea deserved 1-0, as they looked more threatening on the day, but Liverpool can take heart from the fact that they dominated possession in the second half, and that the last time these two teams met at Anfield the result was 2-0 in favor of the Reds. My favorite moment of the match came towards the end when Daniel Agger got up in Didier Drogba’s face and made the universal symbol for crybaby for a good 30 seconds straight.

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AC Milan excepted, none of the semifinalists come into this week’s games in a rich vein of form. Milan is tricky because much of their recent success is due to the resurgance of Ronaldo (the original), who is cup-tied. This being the case, both of these ties could go either way.

Manchester United v. AC Milan: There has been quite a fuss made in the media about how this is a match-up between the speed of United and the experience (i.e., lack of speed) of Milan. This is a bit of a red herring, as the average age of Milan’s probable squad is still under 30, and United are no spring chickens themselves. In fact, judging by some of the names set to play (Scholes, Giggs, Maldini, Nesta) it would not be a stretch to think it was 1997. Do not be afraid to bust out some old Spice Girls hits while you watch the game.

Prediction: Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo will determine the game. Whoever shines brighter’s team will take this leg.

Liverpool v. Chelsea: The two legs of this semifinal will be the 13th and 14th time that these two clubs have met in the past 3 years. A lot of talk is coming from the Chelsea camp that this is the chance for revenge after Luis Garcia’s “phantom goal” at this stage in the competition two years ago. What Maureen and Co. neglect to mention is that had the goal not stood then Petr Cech would have been sent off and Liverpool awarded a penalty. Take it from the referee of that game, Lubos Michel, who told Sunday People

I believe Chelsea would have preferred the goal to count rather than face a penalty with just ten men for the rest of the game. If my assistant referee had not signalled a goal, I would have given a penalty and sent off goalkeeper Petr Cech.

That being said, I get the feeling that Chelsea are due for a win.

Prediction: Eamon Dunphy will not only flog the dead horse of the phantom goal, but he will mount it and perform acts so vile that only the most depraved mind can comprehend them. Then his head will explode.

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I had thought that my esteemed colleague MarkalmGlazer was going to do a live blog type thing like yesterday’s Liverpool-PSV post but he’s either too despondant after Roma’s victory or he was caught in a baton charge by Roman police. Either way, here’s what happened yesterday.

Et tu, Scholesi: Roma defeated Manchester United 2-1, with a first half Scholes sending off changing the complexion of the entire tie. After the game SAF gave some line about playing against 12 men, insinuating that the officiating crew was the 12th. He clearly must have been watching a different game than I was, since I was surprised Scholes lasted as long as he did. The combination of Totti dropping deep into midfield to pick up the ball, Scholes’ trademark awkward tackling, and his not receiving the same preferential treatment as he does in the Premier League made it clear that he was in trouble after seeing his first tackle of the game. The result is not really that bad for United, as they got a vital away goal and Rooney finally made himself useful in a big game (although other than the goal he was pretty invisible). Ronaldo was, as I have to begrudgingly admit, excellent as usual. It will be an interesting second leg, as United will be chasing the game, playing into Roma’s counterattacking style.

If Chelsea loses, will Jose shave his head?: Chelsea and Valencia drew 1-1, with goals coming from David Silva with a 25 yard cracker and Didier Drogba with his 30th goal of the year. Chelsea battered Valencia in the second half, although that generally happens (see Real Madrid v. Valencia) as Valencia likes to play on the counterattack. It’s strange, but I find myself hating Chelsea less than I used to, most likely due to Mourinho gems like this:

This is no challenge. If we win, we go to the semi-final. If we lose, there is wrestling at Earls Court on the day of the semi-final, so if we’re not playing I’ll go to Earls Court with my kids.

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