Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Complex inferiority

Whattup homz(s),

Forget Guus Hiddink’s rhetoric about Chelsea being on a level playing field as Barcelona in the past few weeks. After last night, the one thing anyone with eyes learned is that Chelsea are an inferior side to the Spanish team. They did what inferior sides do.

They did what Spurs did in 2005 against Chelsea at White Hart Lane, “parking the bus in front of the goal” as Jose Mourinho put it. They did what a Liverpool side (who were 33 points behind that same Chelsea side in the league that year) did in the Champions League semi final.

They did what Arsenal, despite what Arsene Wenger would protest, did against Real Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 game in 2006, having come away with a one-nil win at the Bernabéu. Inferior sides sit back, defend, hope for a lucky break, pile on the pressure at set pieces and generally hoof the ball as far away from the penalty box as possible as often as possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time it’s as ugly to look at as this.
Starting with Graeme Souness last night (who seems to be in the first fully blown lovers’ tiff with Eamonn Dunphy) and going on to some Chelski-loving English hacks and inevitably Sky’s entire panel, some fools will have you believe that what Chelsea did last night was simply play the way any away side does in Europe, which frankly is bollocks.

Chelsea’s last two visits to the Nou Camp in the Champions League were characterised by goals, controversy and at least some enterprising play from the away side. That’s what good away sides who consider themselves on a similar level to their opponents do. What Chelsea did last night however, should mean that everyone who actually likes watching football should hope they get thoroughly spanked back at Stamford Bridge next week. It was anti-football. It was puke football. It was fucking rugby.

Watch out for the Sky panel telling us this evening how this shows the Premier League is superior to La Liga. There may be other evidence to show this (Arsenal’s win over Villareal, Pool’s demolition of Real Madrid) but this wasn’t it. If the Premier League is a few shades above the Spanish top tier, why didn’t Chelsea show the world why the English league is better? Why didn’t they take on Barcelona once or twice?

Two of the few things that brightened up the game were the injury to Marquez and the suspension of Puyol. Not because I want Chelsea to win, but just that it gives the Londoners’ no excuse for failing to attack next week and perhaps the may even abandon their novel approach of playing four defensive midfielders, with Hiddink last night asking Lampard and Ballack to curb their attacking instincts and join Kalou sitting in front of John Terry and Alex, while also playing ‘right winger’ Michael Essien as almost a second right back.

Good luck to Chelsea but one other bright spot was that when you look through the team sheet at least there’s promise that this side don’t have too many years left in them. Besides for their trip to Anfield a few weeks back (which looks more and more like a complete fluke) it’s been years since Chelsea played any kind of decent football at the highest level, and players like Lampard, Terry, Carvalho, Drogba and Ballack will either move on or get worse at playing such shite against decent teams. Let’s hope for an early Barcelona goal next week and that it will also be the last time we see Hiddink’s side in Europe this season.

Then there’s tonight, and frankly I haven’t a notion what way this will go. There will be goals though so just for the sake of it, I’m putting a fiver on 2-2 (14/1) and hopefully we get a game that will erase nearly every memory of last night’s putrid shite from the team who were, quite aptly, in yellow*.

Later folks, JJ
*Apologies for the lame joke, couldn’t quite get down off that particularly high horse… this is funnier though.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

PFA nominees receive 'all round meh' shocker

Alright folks,

Another year, another round of nonsensical PFA nominees. Really, these fuckers all have the latest cars, iPhones, Danielle Lloyds and other noted accessories out there; can none of them send an email at the end of April then have their votes tallied up as opposed to posting back their nomination in February?

Bloody February.

All told, Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard are the only ones who've had decent seasons from start to finish from those nominated, barring their time out with respective injuries. Though, then again you could argue that Gerrard has benefitted hugely from a startling upturn in the form of Xabi Alonso (who also has a case for a nomination) this season and that Ferdinand couldn’t cover a bad Vidic performance (versus Liverpool) in the same way that the Serbian has covered countless lapses from the duck-billed one in the past few seasons.

Then, of course, there’ll be those screaming for Frank Lampard, Marouane Fellaini, Kevin Davies, Mark Schwarzer (anyone with a Fantasy League team would put his name forward, points goldmine that he is) and assorted others from outside the list. The earnest Guardian article arguing for Phil Jagielka or Stephen Warnock can only be hours away.

However, the sight of Ronaldo in the final six is a testament to how little thought goes into filling out the nomination form. Thinking about it actually… do you think John Paintsil gives a shit about this? Do you think Tim Cahill gives a toss? Does anyone believe that David ‘I’m Great Me’ Bentley didn’t just reel off a few regular names and go about his business for the day when asked to fill out the form?

These footballers, and so many more, got the PFA letter through the post then dictated a few names down the phone to their agent before forgetting the whole thing ever happened.

Agent: “We need another name David…”

Bentley: “Ahm… hmmm, I’m teeing off at three… eh… fuck it, Ronaldo”.

Cue the “well the fact that my fellow professionals have voted for this means so much” speech from whichever one of the nominees gets this and the circle of nonsense is complete. Gordon Taylor is generally lambasted in the press for his running of the PFA but in this case any criticism is certainly justified.

When a union leader who is on close to £1 million a year in salary can’t organise a fucking vote amongst several hundred members you really have to question if he has the brains of a Guinness shit, never mind what's expected of a man leading one of the most important organisations in football.

Idiot. Idiotic list. That is all.

Later, JJ

(Note: No Champions League predictions this week as I’m currently in a state of optimism so any scoreline I throw out will frankly be ridiculous and quite rightly ridiculed tomorrow.)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

S'up, Phat Pat and predictions

Heya folks,

A few months back we showed you this image of everyone’s favourite jabbering monkeyboy moron Pat Dolan stuffing his face in Burger King (and as Parrotbait noted, he’s so cheap he didn’t even pay for his Coca Cola where the burger is king).

While that was funny, methinks what we have below tops it. Homeboy Pat hanging out with Mick Wallace, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long looking like the dad of one of the white drug dealers in the second season of The Wire.

Note: If you’re the oddest looking fella in a picture with Mick Wallace that’s quite the achievement, but Phat Pat does it with aplomb. Please let one of the Setanta texters bring this up during tonight’s match.

On the subject of this evening, my quick predictions are 3-1 to Liverpool leaving things in the balance for the second leg somewhat, while I’ll go for Barcelona to beat Bayern 4-2. Fuck the Budget, I’m heading for the pub.

Enjoy the games folks, JJ

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

CL Fun

Howdy Folks,
are we are all looking forward to the upcoming month and a half of wall-to-wall football?

I certainly am, so lets crack straight in to some CL talk.

Man Utd vs Porto

Apparently some guy scored or something for United the other day, not much was made about it even though he's obviously the best 30 year old looking, bad hairdo'd player in the world right now. And some Italian Neil Mellor-type scored also. Some sections of the media have been bigging up Porto, and they're certainly better than Villa (Lucho Gonzalez is better than Moustapha Salifou, for example...) but their long odds to beat the holders is a fair reflection of their ability. Expect a semi-open chance fest until United score late in the first half and kill the game off. 2-0.

Villarreal vs Arsenal

Ho ho, that Senna chap can play football, lets pretend we're a bunch of football intellectuals and proclaim him as the best thing since Makelele. If there's one thing that really gets on my wick it's the whole 'I know Rooney scored a hat-trick but did you see the way Fletcher ran around kicking people?' business. I love Fletch, as any Man Utd fan should, but the disturbing trend of hailing destroyers must stop. Most expect this game to be a faster version of the lame Simpsons soccer pisstake and who am I to buck convention? Arsenal's frailties to be exposed, but they should grab an away goal - 2-1.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Goal of the weekend plus Commies on the defensive

Heya folks,

Just in case you didn’t see it, here’s Wolfsburg’s fifth (fifth!) goal against Bayern Munich at the weekend. It’s a great finish from Brazilian striker Grafite and it’s how the ball slowly slips over the line that’s the clincher. Pure class – it’s gets even better on the replays.

Good luck against Barcelona this week, Jurgen and co.

Oh, and after the goal of the weekend here’s the story of the day as North Korea accuse South Korea of poisoning their players before last week’s World Cup qualifier in Seoul. Of course they did lads. Does this story provide a good enough excuse to insert some clips of North Korea-baiting Team America? Well I already have, so fuck yeah it does.

Later, JJ

Saturday, 4 April 2009

ODF 04 April Podcast Online

Hi All,
Like Alan Shearer we're back in the game, and just like the sharp-elbowed one, we ain't at the top no more. But we decided to come back and do a podcast.

So, here's the details:

  • Premier League Results
  • CL Fixtures
  • Pub Talk
  • AOB - including a full discussion of Ireland
Download it or check out the feed

Mark & JJ,

Friday, 3 April 2009

Weekend Ramblings

Well folks,

After a week of news revolving around international games, where tensions have run high, pundits have gone batshit crazy and somehow The Guardian didn’t run a piece on how to play Gerrard and Lampard in the same team, we arrive back to the normality of the Premier League.

Saturday afternoon sees the beginning of the eight-week comedy festival that could be Alan Shearer marching Newcastle into the Championship. Expect black armbands over bad, shiny shirts in the Match of the Day studio until ‘Big Al’ comes back.

We also have Mark Hughes contemplating the idea of dropping Robinho and Fulham attempting to keep up their record of taking points off the big four. This morning Stevie Me signed a new contract and having scored a hat trick in his last game does anyone else sense a red card/cruciate on the horizon? Well maybe just me and some other Liverpool fans attempting to reign in the thoughts of overtaking United.

Then comes Sunday as a wounded Unireh take on a near dead Villa, the home side lacking Rooney, Scholes, Vidic and (probably) Berbatov; the away side lacking confidence and any semblance of how to defend. It’s all go basically, and in between you should…

(a) watch this

(b) read this or this

(c) listen to this, or this, or this


Arsenal v Man City: I fancy City to do what they did to Pool and grab a draw here, Dickie Dunne is back in form and they may get a boost from Robinho being dropped. Though then again they may get a boost from him being in the side. City are like a woman in a strop at present, you never know what feckin mood they’ll be in so best not to ask and just see what happens. 1-1.

Blackburn v Tottenham: Robbie Keane to rob a few more goals in this one. 1-3.

Bolton v Middlesbrough: Liquid football galore. Surely Boro have to win a game sometime? Surely? 0-1.

Fulham v Liverpool: The less I say, the less I feel I can jinx Pool so I’ll stop here. Well here – 0-2.

Hull v Portsmouth: Something big will happen here. An injury; a sending off or six; ten goals; a spitting free for all; Phil Brown sporting an Hawaiian shirt now the good weather is here – who knows but something will happen. I’ll go for 3-2.

Newcastle v Chelsea: Goin down, goin down, goin down! Kriss Kross will make ya Jump Jump! The Shearer factor kicks in. 0-3. How long will it take ‘the best fans in the world’ to boo the manager? I’ll say half time.

West Brom v Stoke: Insert cartoons here. 0-0.

West Ham v Sunderland: ‘Sundlund’ need points bad, West Ham have gone off the boil. Logic says a draw. I say a draw. 2-2.


Everton v Wigan: More cartoons, whoopee. 2-0.

Man Utd v Aston Villa: Villa have a shocking record at Old Trafford, there can be only one prediction despite my allegiances and the home team’s suspensions. 1-0 with a 76th minute goal, if only to tease the rest of us with hope. Oh how I hate Man United.

On that bombshell, have a good one folks, JJ

Thursday, 2 April 2009

The hat trick...

Howdy folks,

Three Robbie Keane pics in a week, we apologise but this time it's certainly warranted. A few things...

- It was never a sending off.

- McShane should NEVER play at full back again.

- Trapattoni's substitutions were excellent, and no one - not Eamonn Dunphy, not Johnny Giles, nor any other soul alive - will convince me otherwise. Doyle was knackered and did nothing up to being taken off; Noel Hunt got into the game straight away while Gibson brought energy to the midfield. Folan meanwhile... well he set up this. (Is it just me or does it look like Hunt got the goal by the way? Weird.)

- Billo, while forever King of the Okeydokefootball has really got to defer to Giles or whoever else is on the RTE panel a lot more often, instead of looking to Eamonn for the easy soundbite. Dunphy is on a mission and it's one based in stubbornness and perhaps a sense of boredom rather than anything else. When your opinions starting matching up with that little sleazeball Brian Kerr, you've got issues Eamonn.

In Trap we trust, bring on Sofia.

Later, JJ