Monday, 18 February 2008

Victory, Champions League and Dublinese

Heya folks, belated start to our blogs on what will be a busy week for fuhbal as it’s pronounced in certain corners of Dublin. Considering I’m a Pool fan it’ll be fairly obvious that tomorrow’s game is required viewing, in fact it’s required viewing with a Guinness in one hand, toasted sandwich in the other and voice screaming like a mad lunatic at silly little men in red on a TV screen who can’t hear me. The way god meant it to be.

It’s been an odd week all round with some negative feedback balanced with a stunning late victory over at Soccerlens. Ever forward though and let’s get on to tomorrow’s games.

Liverpool v Inter Milan: Is it just me of does it seem that many a Liverpool player as well plenty of the fans now think that the way of Rafa is the wrong direction? Alonso has stuttered for two and a half seasons – admittedly with several injuries – under the man who bought him to be the fulcrum of Liverpool’s midfield (remember Gerrard was five minutes away from being a Chelsea player when Benitez brought in Alonso). Babel too is looking a little bit sick of being used sparingly. Elsewhere, Carragher is just plain out of form, while John Arne Riise not only seems to be at odds with his manager’s directions but also any train of rational thought for a defender.

However, as Riise’s pay slip proves, these guys earn a hell of a lot of money to be professional about things and despite all the negatives going into this match I don’t see Liverpool losing against the Italian champions. Not in this leg anyway; though I can see a potent performance coming from the Nerazurri on the 11th of March at the San Siro. A date that may well, for better or worse, mark the end of the Benitez era.

Olympiakos v Chelsea: Chelsea have to be amongst the favourites for this competition. Just look at their frontline – Shevchenko looks at home during Champions League games while Drogba thrives on the big occasion and Nicolas Anelka is eager to prove a point to fans across Europe. Throw in Joe Cole, Michael Essien and a fantastic defence and you’ve a shithot squad. It won’t be an easy first leg but Chelsea will stroll this one.

Roma v Real Madrid: Having watched a fair bit of Real Madrid in the last year I have to say that generally they bore the hell out of me. Yes, that’s coming from a Liverpool supporter but hey I watch Spanish football to escape the dross that is served up at Anfield on a regular basis. One thing Real are at this time though is clinical, and they should get an away goal here. With Roma pretty much assured a Champions League spot in the league though, they could go for broke tomorrow night and get a result. Above all else let’s hope for a few goals to make a decent second leg of it.

Schalke 04 v FC Porto: I haven’t a notion of what will happen here. Just channelling my inner Lawro… 1-1.

And now to finish, this isn’t big, this isn’t clever but here’s proof that cursing did exist in Ireland before Okeydokefootball. It’s da fookin short version of The Commitments. And on that bombshell, later folks and a big thanks to everyone who voted for us over at Soccerlens. Ave it!!!

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