Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Cue the loud classical music please...

JJ here,
As the Champions League begins again – indeed I’m just about to head back to my telly to watch the Liverpool game – we’re reminded that while the Premiership being back is great there really is little to beat the Tuesday/Wednesday double whammy of European football.

The competition proper begins on 18 September; not that I’m confident Liverpool will be there considering I’ve just seen the line up - one that’s never played with each other – to play a team who beat Lyon at the weekend. But anyway, whether they get through or not every football fan should love the Champions League. At the other end of the scale, how many football fans love (or even mildly enjoy) international games?

Today was again a reminder that players, along with the fans, don’t hold games for their country with the same regard they once did. Jamie Carragher’s decision not to go back to England is to do with first team opportunities which is fine; think further back and Alan Shearer’s was mainly due to realizing he would end his Newcastle career with nothing unless he sacrificed the international game (and it’s still funny that it made no difference).

The most telling though was always Paul Scholes’ leaving England due to how they played him. But forget any tired England-bashing, the suspicion is that a great player like Scholes would’ve got bored no matter which country he played for. England’s style might be hammered by most of their press but let’s face it how many international teams play a decent brand of football? Even Brazil became glorified hoofers at last year’s World Cup.

I suppose this is all a roundabout way of welcoming the Champions League back and not welcoming international football back. I’ll watch both but the latter is certainly out of duty more than anything, while the former is all about the promise of good football (Liverpool v Chelsea an example of how it sometimes goes horribly wrong admittedly)...

Anyway, to whet the appetite, Lazio played out a barmy 1-1 draw with Dinamo Bucharest last night in Rome where three players (two Italians and one from Dinamo) got sent off as well.

Enjoy the goals (you won’t enjoy the music), though I can’t find the red card offences as yet:
Here's a report with a bit on the game too:,19528,11854_2661910,00.html
And another on the customary violence and racism:,,-6851177,00.html



Mark V said...

can't muster any enthusiasm yet... perfunctionary away wins for el pool and le arse. i'll wait for the group stages

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