Thursday, February 23, 2006

The missing red carpet

Chelsea saw red, Arsenal’s foot is in the door, someone at Madrid is missing his love, there was an ‘I told you so’ for Liverpool and I felt tiny as Inter Milan drew with Ajax in Amsterdam.

Last night I went to the Amsterdam Arena to see Inter Milan take on Ajax and that same feeling came back, and it happens no matter where I see a match: that feeling of how tiny and meaningless I am in all of it. There I was, sitting in the nosebleed seats, one man among a sea of others just like me; a bunch of onlookers, all doling out our hard earned cash to watch a bunch of rich boys get all the attention.

It happens to me every time. I ask myself ‘why the hell am I here’? I’m the frigg’n Football Commentator!; 'ay, where the hell is my red carpet? Photographers? Microphones in my face so I can say something sort of interesting like “Ajax need to score early so we have a chance at a good football match”. Doesn't anyone know I'm here? But there was none of that; I got pushed around at half time when I needed to take a piss just like the rest of 'em. My wondrous insights during the match were only heard by the guy I went with.

Yet, for some reason, I still go.

Ronaldo is a real piece of work. While guys like me feel small and insignificant he goes to the media and tells everyone how unloved he feels by the Real Madrid fans. Poor thing. Lose some weight and bitch a bit less because you get no sympathy from me you wealthy prat. Don’t you get enough love from your agent?

Arsenal looked really good against Madrid on Tuesday. Minus some careless passing and a few flubs at the back they outclassed Madrid for the whole 90 minutes. Thierry Henry’s goal was dripping class and Fabregas made a few passed that had Zidane looking twice. I was also really impressed with Emmanuel Eboue. On one end he completely shut Robinho down and on the other end of the pitch he made some respectable runs. He’s played better every time I have seen him and the back 4’s injury worries at Highbury is doing his stock no harm at all.

I predicted Liverpool would falter against Benfica over the 2 legs, I’m half way there (in fact my predictions are looking almost spot on except for Bremen). Benfica play ugly, Italian even, but give them credit for scoring a goal against a Liverpool defense that looked quite stubborn. Indeed Liverpool played the better football, Benfica though, with fresher legs might have just done enough. Spare a thought for Mohammed Sissoko who might have a career ending injury, losing sight from a boot to the face. When the hell will they outlaw the foot above the shoulders and overhead kicks?

Chelsea saw Del Horno get a red card in the first half which cost them a draw. What the ballerinas is Mourinho on about claiming Messi was play acting when Chelsea have the ultimate dying swan in Arjan Robben? Mourinho, for all his great traits, should shut up about this one and look at the Oscar winners on his own team.

As for the game I attended, Ajax should have won. They lost composure, up 2 goals in 20 minutes only to give up a pair after the break. Coach Danny Blind failed miserably to substitute someone on that could hold the ball up in midfield and take pressure of the young defenders. Inter kept building momentum all through out the middle third of the match and eventually were rewarded. It’s what veterans like Figo and Zanetti bring you. Look what Greek Giorgios Karagounis did for Benfica when he came on against Liverpool. Ajax, always fielding a team of teenagers, needed a more mature coach.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get the latest Mourinho quotes here

2/24/2006 4:52 AM  
Blogger tbh said...

I think Sissoko's loss (I think he's out for the season) will have a greater effect on Liverpol's season than people think. I'm a big fan of the lad – he's by far the most productive tackler in the Premiership according to Opta stats. Alonso, to my surprise, is that distant second, but he is a more languid type compared to Sissoko's energetic style, and Gerrard has neither the natural playmaking ability of Alonso or García nor the defensive stability of Sissoko.

Maybe Robinho couldn't do anything because he doesn't look close to being a real winger at all? He spent most of the match running into spaces that were already closed anyway. I like Juan Ramon Lopez Caro's 4-1-4-1 formation, actually (it's seen Guti, Zidane, Pablo Garcia and Beckham in fine form), but why play a formation with wingers when your predecessor had already sold your best and most promising wingers to Inter before you came into the picture?

2/26/2006 8:06 AM  

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