Monday, February 23, 2009

Beckham gives United Inter Warning: The Independent

"David Beckham has warned Manchester United to keep an eye on Adriano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they face Inter Milan at the San Siro tomorrow night." --The Independent

Hi, is this Mr. Alex? Hi, yeah, it's David. No no, David Beckham. BECKHAM. B-e-c-k -- yeah, yeah it's me, the stopped-round-thing hitter! How are you? Great, great. No I didn't see that Bush shoe throwing incident. Oh, well that's very nice of you to think of me.

Listen, I know it's Champions League week and you're probably busy but I noticed you guys are playing Inter. Inter Mila--yes, i-n-t-e -- yes, the one that Portuguese man is coaching. Yes, the one who coached the "blue team," that's him. Listen Alex, I just wanted to tell you a couple of things, because you know, I play for AC Milan now. No, they're not the white team, that's the L.A. Galaxy.

Zidane? No, I don't often see him. Ohhhh, you're thinking of Real Madrid, no Mr. Alex that was a while ago. I played in LA for a bit. It's in America. Listen, can we get back to Inter Milan for sec? Good. So, I just wanted to tell you about these two strikers. A striker? Well, the are the guys nearest the opposing goal, they usually try and score and stuff. By kicking the sphere, that's right. Good.

Anyway, Inter's got these two guys named Ibrahimovic and Adriano. Yes, they are sphere-hitters. I just wanted you to know they're really quite good. Yes, so your defenders, yes, the goal-guarders, that's right, they should, you know, keep an eye on them so they don't score on you. Okay? Great Mr. Alex. How's Giggsy and Scholesy? Your middle grass people. Yes, the redhead and the Welshman. Wait you can't go ask Carlos, he no longer works there, nevermind, it's okay.

Oh, you just saw a bird? Well, I'll let you get back to that then. Ok, nice talking to you too. Bye!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The 2008-2009 Premier League Title Challenge So Far


Draws draws draws draws draws. Draws draws draws draws draws draws.

Draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws. Draws? Draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws. Draws draws draws draws draws. Draws draws.


Draws draws draws draws draws. Draws.

Draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws draws.

Draws. Draws draws.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Aston Villa: The RECKONING


This March, get ready for what Aston Villa fans are already calling "THE CAPITULATION OF THE YEAR."

When a rag tag group of middling Premiership players came together to take on the financial might of the Big Four, they didn't count on one man (a Dutchman actually) with a tactically-sensible plan and intricate knowledge of Chelsea's complex feudal system of 'cliques.'

"CAREW! No! Not another missed chance!"

"I...I just don't know why I was subbed on for Curtis Davies! It didn't do ANYTHING TO STOP THEM!"

Featuring non-stop, grindingly ineffective footballing action, periodically brilliant saves by Brad Friedel—

"Chelsea's blackshirts, I just, I CAN'T SEE THEM IN THIS BLINDING SUN! Oh GOD! Where is Cuellar going, JESUS CHRIST!"

—and a keeper/back four love story that will get the ladies SWOONING like mad!

"Hey Friedel, you saved our asses back there. I've...I've always loved you."

"Sorry Zat, come again?"

Martin O'Neill—"That was OUR THROW IN! You're all doing a great job out there, great stuff everyone, be sure to thank the fans for coming out after the game!"

Guus Hiddink—"I'm Guus Hiddink"

and Gene Hackman as Phil "Philly Cheese Steak" Scolari star in,

Aston Villa: The RECKONING!

Big Four THIS.

Rated R, may incite adult situations, course language, drug use.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sometimes Football Needs to Be Held Up to a Little Digitized Mirror to Remind Us Why it's Worth It

Little Pro Vercelli has been promoted to Serie B! For those who aren't aware, Brian Phillips over at the Run of Play has been managing Italy's tiny Pro Vercelli via the masterful footballing AI of Football Manager. The saga of his attempt at global footballing domination while struggling with Cameroon call-ups and adorably incompetent assistant managers like Walter Colombo (a cult fave) has been captivating as all get out.

If FM haven't already picked this up as some sort of marketing tool, someone should get on it pronto.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spain v. England Minute-by-Minute

I think you might roughly get what this picture is getting at.

45 + 1' Spain 1-0 HT. Sam Allardyce, Teddy Sheringham and Andy Townsend ahead...which is probably cue to say adieu. If you want to see the master at work for the second half, click here.

45' ITV's saying "we" a lot. Now that's not proper is it? And Sergio Ramos' has had ago, which must mean everyone has had at least one, except Casillas maybe.

43' Iniesta dummies Johnson, setting up Villa who hits an England defender, then Alonso has a reasonable go from distance which makes ITV go ALOOOONNSSO!!!!

41' Capello looks a bit pissed. We're being reminded England haven't had many clean sheets...hope and glory? Not likely. Suddenly Justin TV has turned on France. The game is quiet again.

39' And then the ITV jerks say, "an England team made of Villa players gets scored on by Villa." Yeah. Ha ha. Now Senna takes a pop from outside the box and goes a bit above goal.

37' GOAL! Spain 1 England 0 David Villa via Xabi Alonso cut through England's defense, Jagielka caught out, David Villa dances the ball and scores to James' left. Lovely goal, ITV goes WILD!

34' Little wizard SWP dances through the centre of the Spanish defence and wins a free kick on the edge of the box. Downing or Barry to take??? Downing, hits the wall, Capdevilla floored, end scene.

32' David James almost drops a routine pop-fly at the feet of Torres. Yikes. I suppose.

28' Downing takes a ridiculous free kick, with four England players offside, forgetting to go back on in time. Sheesh! Justin TV: "Good God, you people are f-ing idiots" Sounds about right.

24' The Spanish midfield is humming along like my space heater. Although nothing is happening. MEXICAN WAVE ALREADY. Yeah, this is pretty damn easy. Oh, and then Villa goes and fake scores (offside says the correct linesman.)

20' Marco Senna has a go, making David James look way more athletic than he actually is. Xabi passes to Villa who gets knocked over, free kick Spain thirty five yards out. Comes to zilch as it bounces off Terry.

18' Justin TV says: "england are fags." Spain sets up Torres who knocks it over for a corner. Some banging around, Villa picks up a threaded ball, James misses the limp kick for another corner. Sort of equalish here so far.

14' Heskey appeals for a free-kick or penalty after getting raked down by some Spanish fella whose shirt has been pixellated out of existence. And now Wright-Phillips has been fouled, except the whistle's gone against him for one of those strange and wonderful reasons. Still no emails!

12' Missed pass out to touch for England, many pointless shots of Beckham stretching his thigh muscles as Sean Wright-Phillips appears to have taken a knock. And the feed's gone out again.

10' Not much here. Dracula88 has received a time out. Oop, good move from Gabby to Wright-Phillips, corner for England. Downing takes it and Barry just missed the far post. With his head. I'm also a bit worried now that this huge post is going to screw up my home page. I'm a nerd.

08' England do their own bit of oleing in their own half, but then it ends horribly in a pointless longball.

06' Torres and Villa v. Heskey and Agbonlahor. Hmmm...Spain pass it around nicely but do nowt. The Cole puts in a great ball for Gabby who left foots it close to the post.

04' Spain are Arsenal 2004. They're already oleing the shit out of England.

01' Well then, I'm still looking here. Ah! Back. Abgonlahor sends a weird pass. Normal normal.

4:05 Shit. With that I've lost my feed before kick-off. Thar be nervous TV executives here!

4:03 No signs of racism yet! Justin TV says: "david becam is the player of history."

4:02 Anthems. Gareth Barry's mouth opens and closes like that of a Japanese robot.

4:01 Oh, and I suppose you'll want this too: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Albiol, Capdevila, Alonso, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Torres, Villa.
Subs: Reina, Marchena, Busquets, Riera, Llorente, Guiza, Juanito, Silva,
Arbeloa, Santi Cazorla.

4:01 Spain is unfashionably late. Announcers on Sky are pissed. "Mind games" apparently.

3:59 Oh shit, the game. My heart is racing a bit from having to multi-task. I could die here. I don't want to die.

3:57 Wind warning announced for the city of Toronto. How this will affect the game is anyone's guess. Butterfly effect people.

3:56 And in case any of you do email me, which would be HILARIOUS, do you know what happens to my RSS feed if I update this post about six hundred times?

3:54 I'd tell you what the hell was going on in pregame, but these Justin TV chaps are quite ruthless, only on from kick-off. Please remember to press F5 to refresh, and I'm serious, email amoresplendidlife[at] if you have any comments. Man, this is so easy!

3:52: I think I should mention, I'm probably only going to be able to do the first half as I have a rehearsal later. Betcha Scott Murray couldn't say that!

3:49 PM EST: Hi y'all. As I'm forced to watch this thing via Justin TV, I thought I'd do a MBM for your enjoyment. Or my enjoyment as no one is likely to read this post. Here is the line-up stolen direct from the Guardian: David James, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Michael Carrick, Phil Jagielka, John Terry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, Stewart Downing, Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Philippe Scolari as Vincent Vega

I don't know why, but Scolari's sacking brings this scene to mind:

Butch is English football, whose storyline is completely unrelated to Vincent's except for this chance encounter. And Vincent, having moved only recently from Amsterdam (international football) to LA (Stamford Bridge), has undergone a series of humiliating incidents, from losing his partner Jules to God (Jules being his "big manager" alter ego, God being the English press) to accidentally shooting Marvin in the face (drawing Hull at home).

Yeah, I saw this movie again this weekend, what of it?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Idiocy of the "Title-Challenge"

Pending about a hundred thousand variables,
everything's gonna be alright!

"And that title challenge is still on!"

So wrote the normally unflappable Scott Murray in this afternoon's Guardian minute-by-minute report after Fernando Torres' injury time winner. Meanwhile, Canada's own Craig Forrest had the gall to remark today that "Arsenal's title challenge is now effectively over." Now effectively over? Not three weeks ago? Not two months ago? But Aston Villa wins at Ewood Park and Arsenal have lost the "title-challenge?" This from the same analysts who continue to insist Martin O'Neill has a "great chance" at finishing in the top four. The same Aston Villa that's currently eight points ahead of Arsenal.

And now even the Guardian is stating Liverpool's "title challenge," which only a week ago some said was "slipping away," is in a moment's brilliance at struggling Porstmouth somehow "still on." Umm, maybe? Perhaps if you ignore the inconvienient truth of Manchester United's two games in hand. With all this monstrous idiocy, it's no wonder Brian Phillips is wryly waiting for official word on Chelsea's defunct "title-challenge" after drawing Hull.

Look: the Premier League isn't won or lost with golden goals, tepid performances, month-long win streaks or five-nil drubbings. It's won on points. So let's all take a deep breath shall we?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm a Busy Bee

Not to use this as some sort of half-baked forwarding hub, but catch my interview with Steven Wells on EPL Talk. I also did a little piece on snow.