Old Futbol Buffet–Every Day Should be a Holiday

My attempts at watching the EPL Holiday Program were muted. I missed the midweek games—United v Wigan due to apathy and Norwich/Spurs due to work—so when the weekend rolled around with a nice slate of games, I had to put blog writing and house cleaning and family time to the side and get to the bar.  Regardless, I wish I was on vacation all the time.

Liverpool 3  Newcastle 1

Friday rolled around, so I headed out to watch Liverpool against Newcastle. My viewing partners bailed so I planned on watching it by myself and hoping for another a seven goal thriller from the late 90’s. Fortunately for me, some other guys showed up and there were plenty of goals.

It was not the greatest game, with Newcastle offering very little in attack and only a distraction provided the Magpies with the opening goal. Liverpool replied with sustained pressure and Bellamy finally finished off a move with a cracking strike after a poor clearance. In the second half, looked like King Kenny went with the Bellamy on left wing like he did in the Chelsea game, which killed his effectiveness. However, he got his second on a free kick after a complete clusterfuck in the Newcastle defense as Simpson dropped back to the goal line and ran into Krul as the ball slammed into the net. Following that the Welshman got elbowed by Coloccini and had to be subbed. After the second goal, the Magpies were done and Gerrard, who had been supplying good crosses, scored a wonderful goal. But, the best part of the game was the conversations with the guys at the bar. The topics ranged from fantasy tips to Suarez’s ban to video replay to what the Reds need to improve their team to how many teams has Bellamy actually played for. Answer: 9.

I missed the Manchester United game. The early start was beyond me as I had an indoor double header the night before. I actually played a lot over the break, with several games and a couple of session of futsal. Good for technique and some off season fitness. Before the double header I had a couple of Killian’s while watching the Liverpool/Newcastle game but after a quick nap and a ton of water, I felt good. I played well but unfortunately didn’t wear my finishing boots in the first game and my counterattacking boots in the second. Lost both games. Doesn’t happen often.

Anyway, after playing some futsal in the afternoon, I called up my friend to watch the United replay. He said it wasn’t on ESPN3, and was like, yeah I know, live only, but it’s on the DVR right? Uhhh . . . no. So after debating about what to do, I went home. I had found out the score doing research for the blog, so I knew that United had lost. Shocking really. It was supposed to City slipping over the holidays not United. (Turns out City lost too.)

I’m hoping to watch City v Liverpool on Tuesday. It will be the first day back to work, so we’ll see.

——–

Stuff I Found:

Weston Pagano (@wpazzurri) did a guest post on Juventiknows about reactions he gets to wearing his Juve gear in public. Totally get the ref comment. Ugh.

Speaking of Juventus, the Juventiknows crew reviewed the Udinese game and looked at possible signings in the Winter Mercato. Not sure why Boriello is even an option; an additional center mid makes a little sense; cover for Lichtsteiner might be needed, but if he goes down, Juve may have alter their tactics for the time he’s out.

The Christmas Eve panel on the World Football Phone In continued the discussion on racism in football in the wake of Suarez’s punishment. They also discussed memories of the 1994 World Cup and its legacy, in particular the MLS; Tim Vickery commented on Diego Simeone’s arrival at Atletico Madrid; Vickery gave the audience on the Brazilian striker Jo, formerly of Everton; and finally there was analysis of Santos’ abject performance at the Club World Cup.

Skimming the SI.com Soccer Front Page, I stumbled on this article about “brain training” in soccer.  Several coaches around Europe are focusing on improving not only technical skill but mental skill during matches—seeing the field, choosing correct options and analyzing the space around them.  Highly academic, it sounded very interesting as well as beneficial, trying to make players better people instead of just better soccer people.

Amputee Football (Soccer) Championships Some awesome soccer skills are on display at the The African Cup of Nations for Amputee Football. If I ever feel I’m getting too big of a head playing soccer, all I have to do is put on this clip. These guys are truly amazing.

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