Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ridiculously Late Weekend Review Part 1: Futbol

Shit- I'm having one of those weeks where you turn around and it's Thursday. Anyhow, catching up from the weekend...

Madrid es Campeon

So as Barca were romping over Nastic, Real Madrid managed to fall behind 0-1 at home to Mallorca, making things really interesting. But they came back to win 3-1 so in the end everything went down as expected. The key was none other than Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes {JAR for short} who came on for the injured Beckham and scored Madrid's 1st and 3rd goals. I don't know much more about the match, as I only got to see highlights. I did, however, get this text message from Solon while walking up the 9th fairway at Spyglass Hill:

"Gimnastic 1-5 Barca. Real 3-1 Mallorca. JAR came off the bench to score 2. TOM CRUISE WAS AT THE BERNABEU CHEERING FOR REAL- I shit you not. They ARE brothers."

To which I replied:

"Shiiit, fool- I broke that story last year. Thx."

So yeah, the media will tell you that Tom & Katie were there with Posh watching Becks play his final match for Madrid. But surely the truth is that he was there to watch JAR, who is obviously his little brother.

Tell me JAR isn't Tom Cruise's little bro.
Go ahead- tell me. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Speaking of which, apparently after one of Madrid's goals they showed Tom kiss Katie and apparently the look on Katie's face pretty much lines up with all the talk about their relationship being a hop, skip, and a jump away from genuine. I wish I could have seen that, sounds funny as shit.

So Real and Barca finish level on 76 points, and RM are champions based on their head to head results with Barca, even though Barca had a massively superior goal difference {+45 to RM's +26}, which would have made them champions in several other leagues, including the English Premier League.

So congrats to Real Madrid- they had miracle last seconds goals to save themselves about half a dozen times in the last 6 weeks of the season. Also congrats to Moin, king of the footy commenters around here and a diehard Madridista.

A word about Barca as well. People seem to be universally condemning this season as a failure, the squad as a failure, etc., etc., and there is talk that the team must be changed/dismantled/etc so that they can regroup and again challenge for the title. All of this talk is pretty shortsighted in my opinion. The finished tied for the league and only lost their 3rd consecutive title on a tiebreaker. Furthermore, two of their 3 best players, and hell perhaps even their two best players, Messi & Eto'o, each spent a huge chunk of the season out with severe injuries. Plain and simple: if these two were healthy all year, Barca are 3 time defending champions. Hell, probably even if only one of those two was healthy.

So I don't see all the talk of failure and the need to make drastic changes to the team. Yes, it is disappointing that after winning the Spanish League and Champions League last year that they came away empty handed this season, but universally panning this team as a failure seems pretty silly. I would take this same team's midfield & strikers into next season and like my chances- if any tweaking needs to be done I would think it would be to try to shore up the back a bit, or get Rafa Marquez back into 2005-2006 form.

So that's the last of the domestic seasons in the record books. Which means that now the silly season will go completely off the crazy meter withe speculation and linking of every single good player pretty much everywhere with every major club. I for one am looking forward to the close of the transfer window, just because I have been through this shit so many times that is really is annoying and 99% of the rumors, stories, and speculation turn out to be completely false.

Gold Cup Quarterfinals

Well, the huge news is that tiny Guadeloupe, not even a nation, continued their amazing cinderella run by shocking favored Honduras 2-1. Honduras were looking really strong after beating heavyweights Mexico and destroying Cuba 5-0 in the group stages. Guadeloupe took advantage of having two really tall strikers and got 2 goals from crosses from the right side in the first 25 minutes, then hung on for the shock win. Consider this: Guadeloupe have never even qualified for the Gold Cup before in their history, and now they are in the final four. Amazing stuff.

In the other matches the 2 favorites, Mexico and the US, won, and Canada took care of Guatemala, setting up the semifinals to be played tonight:

USA-Canada 4 p.m. PST
Mexico- Guadeloupe 7 p.m. PST

Can Guadeloupe do it again? I sure hope so, but Mexico is yet another step up in class and additional difficulty comes in the fact that is will be damn near a true road game, as I'll be suprised if any less than 95% of the fans at Soldier Field in Chicago are cheering for Mexico.

Allez Guadeloupe!!!


moin said...

Thanks man. I agree with you wholeheartedly about Barca. Great team and still favorites next year no matter what RM does (short of bringing in Kaka).

That's the one fun thing about the silly season for RM. All these rumours are stupid/non-sense. But with RM, there's that 1 in 1000000 chance that it'll happen and it is quite fun to watch everyone squirm a little because the rumor involved RM.

Kanu said...

I used to be amused by silly season. After 3 consecutive summer sagas with PV4 {03, 04, 05} and TH 14 last spring and this spring and summer, I'm just over it- it's gone from amusing to irritating.

So I'm mostly going to tune it out and watch Gold Cup, U20 World Cup, and Copa America this summer.