i got to see the brawl that occasionally erupted into football on Sunday. the home crowd were considerably louder than the Owed Trafford Library's attendees on Demolition Derby day. hard to chant and sing with a face stuffed full of hors d’oeuvres apparently.
Liverpool played quite well, and Dalglish's heavy recruitment of English players is paying off---they looked like a slicker version of Stoke. Liverpool fielded a very big, very physical lineup and have so far been one of the few teams i've seen push City around physically (Stoke can’t so far). curiously, de Jong wasn't in the lineup for City. Barry's a better passer but not the guy you want watching your back in a fistfight, whereas de Jong could be Tony Soprano’s bodyguard.
early on, the Liverpool players discovered a lovely innovation: if you pull a guy's shirt *and* trip him simultaneously, he's more likely to fall over. i'd always thought of Luis Suarez as one of the dirtiest cheats on the planet, but was still shocked at his shamelessness. I expect he'll be wearing a wetsuit under his kit next match. the refs seemed a bit intimidated by the home crowd in that most of City's fouls looked like fouls, but no worse than the home team’s fouls which they ignored (including some i thought should have been cards, but i was watching on Sopcast so at times it's hard to judge whether one blurry blob is fouling another or whether in fact new footage of bigfoot has been found.
as un-lovely as it was, i thought both sides played pretty energetically if not always well. Kuyt in particular didn't shine, but worked hard. nothing new there; i think that's why English commentators always (incorrectly) pronounce his name Cowt: he has as much finesse as all but the finest bovines.
thought the score was a fair result, maybe the run of play favored Liverpool a bit but City had a roughly equal amount of really clear chances so by rights, to my eye, it should have evened out. and it did. the non-goals were more exciting than the goals, and Joe Hart was clearly the man of the match.
in other news, granny Beckham is running her mouth again (surprise!) let’s assume for the sake of argument that Miss Beckham really does care about the fate of her former club and want United to win the league rather City. even for a rocket surgeon like Becks, her "city have no chance" announcement was a stupid move. that poor old Scottish alcoholic’s been working so hard to avoid giving City any more "noisy neighbor" pull quotes, and up jumps the Beckham flapping her gums to fill the void, making sure to provide City with something to tack up in the dressing as a motivator. Becks has to be glad for the existence of Miss Tevez, as it is the only thing between her and the honor of Stupidest Footballer Ever to Disappear Up Her Own Ass.
Arsenal-City tonight ought to be interesting even if both teams put in their second string. it should look like football (as opposed to a gang fight). unfortunately there's a limit to how late i'm going to stay up on a work day.
Imodium can't stop me.
And the Tevez saga grinds on...I reckon we will sell him for £28 million.
Great win last night, we needed Silva back. He was everywhere at once. Him and Yaya are my players of the season, and we are only halfway through.
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it's big to win a game without Yaya and Kompany. i don't think people realize how inflluential Yaya is. he does stuff that statistics can't measure, such as physically dominate anyone he's up against (including Stoke) without (unlike de Jong) giving up his influence on the attack. been a Yaya fan (and a Silva fan) for quite a while before City signed 'em. no surprise to me that Yaya's as dominant as he is, and i'm quite glad to see Silva reaching his potential. i've been following Aguero for a long time too, and he's very, very likely to get better. maybe even a lot better. for the haters, that's gotta be keeping 'em awake at night.
this weekend will be a big one in terms of influencing the outcome of the Prem, but the only team that could take a serious ding would be Spurs. City and United would still be close enough to each other to keep it interesting (or uneasy, depending on your POV) but Spuds are cooked if they don't get at least a point.
City squeaked out 3 points vs Spurs tonight at the very last minute. watched on Sopcast, which is a bit more like a slide show than TV. looked a bit harsh on Spurs but if City survive the African Nations cup they'll be very tough to catch.
^we bossed that game for large parts, the opening to the second half was electric, until we had a defensive 'moment'. I am sure the yids will be whinging about Balotelli and Lescott, but really, the amount of dodgy decisions that have gone against us and the blatant cheating, well really, I don't care.
didn't see the match but the commentators made the first Spurs goal sound like a bit of a freebie. defending was always going to be a worry with both Toures and a Kompany out, and Spurs have a rather spiffy attacking unit. Kompany's back after Liverpool isn't he?
Yeah - Savic looked a bit green.
Citeh deserved to win.
He really is a charmer, isn't he.
Were City still paying his wages during his self imposed exile?
if i ever get a dog... one a them real ugly dogs, like a pug or something. i'm gonna name her "Carlos."
Marina Hyde in 'The Guardian' is often excellent....
Viva Carlos Tevez
In what moral universe could Carlos Tevez possibly be seen as an unlikely hero? The answer, needless to say, is this one. Within the football force field that envelops this septic isle, I find myself experiencing wildly misplaced admiration for the prodigal Manchester City striker, who this week returned from Argentina.
Tevez has spent the past three months in what is described as "self-imposed exile", which makes him sound a bit like a Shakespearean duke, as opposed to someone who got in a bate about warming up for a Champions League match. The Argentinian is estimated to have lost himself a staggering £9.3m in wages and fines over some warped point of non-principle, and against football's current backdrop, this stubborn two fingers to the cash takes on a sort of Bizarro-world heroism.
To the south, there has been assiduous quoting of the judge in Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric's tax evasion trial, who remarked tartly that football "may be thought by some to have rather lost its way". To the north, Rangers have gone into administration, in part to get out of paying a big whack of the tax bill. A couple of hundred miles south of that, the intervention of a shirt sponsor and the fear of brand contagion seem to have forced Liverpool to take a financially motivated stance on the behaviour of Luis Suárez.
Since the flurry of apologies to emerge from Anfield on Sunday, there have been glib observations about principal owner John W Henry being a man of principle, but he appears instead to be a man of steely commercial pragmatism. Whether his Fenway Sports Group will ape News Corp in throwing their British interests to the wolves to protect their primary US concerns remains to be seen. But if I were Kenny Dalglish, I wouldn't be planning too many moons ahead.
Anyway, enter Tevez – although even that could not be stated with certainty until he was spotted at Manchester airport. Despite pictures of Tevez holding his boarding pass in the Buenos Aires airport departure lounge on Monday, reports kept saying he was "expected" to land in the UK on Tuesday, as though there were every chance the mercurial striker could reroute the plane mid-Atlantic and emerge through arrivals in Houston or Reykjavik.
Obviously, plenty will be remarking that on a couple of hundred grand a week, we could all afford to take idiotic stands. But again we must consider the Argentinian's decision to forfeit £9.3m, which is an awful lot of money to lose in a doomed attempt to prove a point, even by football's standards. It seems even more cavalier for an increasingly toxic player who does not appear to have an obvious plan post-football. Even though the gesture was a tribute to his then infant daughter, my default mental picture of Tevez is the United-era goal celebration in which he bounded goofily around with a baby's dummy in his mouth. Without wishing to speculate on the second act of Tevez's life, it may not include a glittering career in punditry.
Having said that, he doesn't exactly sit on the fence, opting to ease his return to England with an interview revealing that City's manager, Roberto Mancini, had treated him "like a dog". And if Tevez's bridge-building technique seems vaguely idiosyncratic, then elsewhere people's tolerance for football's old boys' club is growing thinner by the hour. Consider the disparaging reaction to last Saturday's Match of the Day, where Alan Hansen could not bring himself to make even the most anodyne criticism of his mate Kenny Dalglish – just another routine instance of 19th-hole cowardice which makes the BBC's recent decision to cut Hansen's pay to a mere £1m a year look like little more than a good start.
Searching for the analogy, I suppose the revolted admiration I feel for Tevez would echo that I nurse for Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair (company motto: "You deserve everything you don't get"). I would cross continents, even in one of his aircraft, to avoid having a pint with Mr O'Leary, but I can no more help but admire someone who frets so little about being loved than I can be moved by the whinges of those paying less than £20 including taxes to fly to Italy. It's a great deal: suck it up.
"I don't give a shit if nobody likes me," the Ryanair boss once remarked, and though Tevez seems a more sensitive soul, there is a tragically venal, devil-may-care streak of sorts in the O'Leary of the Etihad. People dislike Tevez because he lays bare what football has become for everyone bar those irrelevances, the fans. He is less a human than a series of ever-more cynical transactions, and to those who control the game he offers an unauthorised glimpse of the cash machine behind the curtain. The obverse of that is that he pisses the right people off. Think of newly minted Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce suggesting last year that Tevez should be banned from world football by Fifa. By Fifa, if you please, the most mercenary entity in world sport!
As for what's next for Carlos Tevez – rebel without a cause or much of a clue – who can say? My own hope is that Sean Penn will take up his second case of wronged Argentinians in a week, and provide another surreal chapter to football's adventures through the looking glass
^very good piece.
Well, wasn't that the most forced, disingenuous apology ever? I am not entirely sure what is going to happen to Carlos or if he is going to fit back into the team, but he will get a flat reception from the terraces. The City soap rumbles on.
Marina Hyde is a sanctimonious, pretentious, self-absorbed, smug posh cunt-hair, and often appears to make stuff up to suit the theme papers she posts to her grad school class Post Modern Cultural Studies synposium, i mean The Guardian. i find her so smug and odious that i won't read the essay even though it is now right in front of me. even Piers Morgan has occasional moments of refreshing directness.
if i found that special bottle with a genie in it, and got three wishes, i'd probably swap out "happiness for all, free, and no one goes away unsatisfied" for "Marina Hyde never writes again, and hopefully gets hit by a bus (or two)."
that said, Carlitos is still a cunt. won't be surprised if they play him at some point though, especially with injuries, Balotelli's incessant suspensions, etc.