Sunday, December 30, 2007

this one is really about soccer...

So, if you were paying attention or read apm on feeds or from various soccer sites, you probably saw the last thing I posted here which was actually intended for my personal blog and totally not soccer-related, because here at apm we are nothing if not 100% professional. I just wanted to come back with an embarrassing bang. I swear, I haven't even been hitting the holiday eggnog or anything, but having potentially subjected footie fans to my ramblings on everything but, I feel obligated to actually provide you with some content now.

One week, on, I am still reeling from Real Madrid's thrashing of Barcelona, and while the scoreline may have merely read 0-1, it was indeed a thrashing. Our boys looked awful and for the first time ever, I am ready to concede that it's probably time for Ronaldinho to move on. However, the first team debut of Serbo-Catalan new kid Bojan Krkic is easing a lot of that pain for me: he's hungry, intelligent, and gifted beyond his years. With the addition of both him and Mexican Giovani dos Santos--also wildly talented but more so than Krkic right now in need of focusing, better communication skills, and maybe a touch less arrogance--suddenly my wonder kid Leo Messi stops being the wonder kid and starts looking like the grand old man of Barca. Okay, I exaggerate, but their performance on December 23 left little doubt as to just how crucial Messi is to Barca's success. Meanwhile, I like Rijkaard's use of Eidur Gudjohnsen as a hardworking midfielder: he's a player I've never stopped rooting for despite his inability to really succeed for us as a striker (and I wish Rijkaard had used him last week).

Speaking of Rijkaard, what is with the absurd speculation that Jose Mourinho is going to replace him? Enough with this nonsense.

In other news: another player, Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell, tragically collapses and dies on the pitch. There aren't really words for this one: we all imagine how we'd feel if the same happened to one of our beloved players. I don't understand why this happens--what players' physicals screen for, if there's any way to prevent this.

And in news of the bizarre, if Man City doesn't stop their meteoric rise (they're 5th place as of this writing and a mere point behind Liverpool), I am going to end up a fan of both the team and Sven-Goran Eriksson. And that will just be silly. I can't help pointing out that gosh, it turns out Sven-Goran really was a decent coach and that, well, maybe the England team just sucked. It would have been interesting to see whether Mourinho could have turned them around--and if he couldn't have, I don't think anyone could. Fabio Capello? I haven't made up my mind.

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