17 June 2009

Summer of Love pt 2 : Disgruntled Non-English

By Dr3

To get straight to the point; this Camel’s back is broken. Hearing it for the umpteenth time, “the pace of the English premier league is too much for teams outside of England”, the damage was done and my rant was inevitable. I am sick, disgusted, fed up, angered, bewildered; well you get the picture, of this nonsensical, and ludicrous not to mention unfounded theory being fed for the entire (gullible) football world to gobble up.

Firstly, this supposed dominance is as a result of the success of the top four in the champions league when they face other European powerhouses. Yes, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal have done England very proud in recent times in the champion’s league. Is that a reflection though of the strength of the league? If the league is so strong, then why, why oh why, isn’t this dominance evident in the UEFA Cup? If the league is so fast and so superior, why aren’t ALL English teams dominating in all tournaments? This is pg-13 so I will not answer, because it might be filled with f-bombs to Timbuktu. Shouldn’t 5th, and 6th, also have this same superior quality and pace that rattles all these slow and backward ‘footballing’ leagues around the world?

Secondly, the Spanish Primera Liga, i.e. La Liga, is one of the slowest, most artsy, most spacious, but most technical leagues in the world. Why did the champions of Europe come from this league? Not only did they win, but they absolutely demolished Manchester United, who aside from the opening ten minutes, were just like me; a spectator. How is this possible? Barcelona is not fast, do not play counter-attacking football, nor is their tempo or style of play anything that you would call fast. In fact ‘Barca’ is a prime example of “slow and steady, wins the race”. Explain please ;( Someone please call 911?) because I NEED help. The pace wasn’t too overwhelming for a Barca side whose defense is supposedly questionable.

I will enlighten my blind, lost sheep. The dominance of the top FOUR in the premiership, is as a result of the quality of their teams, PERIOD. With the exception of Real Madrid and Barcelona, every single European power outside of England was inferior this season, and have been for some time; proof?

AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen, Villareal, and Athletico Madrid, are all pound for pound, weaker, and in some cases MUCH weaker than these four English powerhouses. Don’t get me wrong, this does not in any way take away from the strength of the four clubs; after all it is the responsibility of these others to make the strongest squad possible, but it does NOT reflect on the quality of the league; proof?

Aside from Ibrahimovic, Maicon, Cesar and MAYBE Cambiasso which Inter player can take the place of a Manchester, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal player? Aside from Kaka, and MAYBE Zambrotta, and Pato, which AC Milan player can fit into the top four clubs? Chiellini and Amauri are the only Juventus players that a team would try to buy. Roma don’t have a single player that can replace a player from the top four in the premiership. (Totti is as old as the Great Wall of China let’s get serious)
This is not to say the guys are not quality at all, but Vucinic vs Rooney is a mismatch. Stankovic vs Lampard or Gerrard or 'Fabreegas', is an EXTREME mismatch.
I will not keep going into these player to player comparisons, but it should be clear by now. If not, then maybe you’re trapped in the matrix, and need to free your mind. Do I even need to get into Bayern Munich’s roster?

As I said in the first segment, minus the few flukes; talent wins competitions. Talent costs money, but whoever has the most talent will win. It really is not rocket science, and should come as no surprise, that the teams that have the strongest squads, i.e. the top four English teams, as well as Barcelona will be the strongest competitors in the European competition. If the other teams want to bridge the gap and end the “dominance” of the foursome, they need not get “FASTER”, but simply, get BETTER. Class is class people, stop filling my head with your nonsense.

credit to AlexSA @ oleole.com for image

09 June 2009

Football - Summer of love

By Dr3

Sorry to disappoint, but YES I am a man, and I love sports; namely football. I’m not talking about “touchdown” and “timeout” football. I’m referring to the one that uses, you guessed it; FEET. My love for football cannot be understated. I can think of nothing else that unites and divides as many people all over the world with so much emotion as football. It is amazing that a sport can be a source of pride, agony, passion, and love, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Football provides for me the thrills and highs and lows of life minus the harsh reality that things have to end. Fame, women, wealth, and even love may come and go, but football never leaves you.

Football may have changed in rules, and style, but the beauty has never gone away. It has shifted powers, and strengths, and even financially has drastically changed, but the elements remain the same. The thrill of your favorite players, and famous showdowns, and famous rivalries, will never die. To get to the point, I am as excited as a child waiting on Santa, about the next change football is undertaking.

Due to what I view as the economic successes of English clubs, they have been able to steadily build an empire of “footballing” greatness. Hard as it is for me to accept they now have the four most consistently performing, “best” teams on the planet. That doesn’t mean that I think the league is superior though, the contrast in quality between the afore mentioned and the rest of that EPL is pretty disgusting in fact, but that’s another topic for another time. It’s hard to admit, but like everything else football has always been dictated by money. Every team that was able to purchase the quality needed at the time really excelled and are remembered as legendary. Of course there are exceptions; Mourinho’s Porto being the prime one, but aside from the few glitches, football has always followed a simple pattern, talent wins. Talent unequivocally costs money.

Of course the hopeless romantics of football will try to philosophize that money can’t buy success, but it can, and does, FACE it. Who was Chelsea pre-Abramovich? Real Madrid has ALWAYS been built around the strength and depth of their wallet. AC Milan always seems to be able to fork out whatever to get their desired man. The days of Maradona(s) joining Napoli(s) are gone.

In this day, big players need big salaries, and big salaries equal big clubs, period. This brings me to why I am really writing this (4 paragraphs in). The power of the top four of the English league is a direct reflection of the power of their pockets. Sure Arsenal is a young side, but how many teams can buy Adebayor, Van Persie, Arsharvin, or even Gallas, without economically “dying” in the process. Real Madrid, have made their bid to rekindle the old flame of success. The £56 million purchase of Kaka might be laughed at, scorned and condemned until death do us part, but it is a signal of intent. Purchasing Kaka who is an undoubted talent at such an asking price, signals that Real understand that in this time, in order to really be competitive, requires the spending of real money; money that makes people gasp, money that makes your lonely times, fashionably lonely. It sets a precedent that others not only should, but have to follow. If a team is really intent on vying for silverware, then the purchase of Bendtner or Poulsen, or Menez, or even Muntari for that matter, is not going to do it. Pedigree is pedigree, simple as that. Barcelona bought Ronaldinho and stood up, and got noticed. They bought Henry, and even though I too am a naysayer on the Henry buy, look at the results. Buying peripheral players might be a thing of the past.

The motto for this summer :Spend or be spent.

Photo credit to AlexSA @ oleole.com

01 June 2009

Step 1: Admitting I am powerless over football

By Dr3

All jokes aside, I am an avid football fan, and blogger. Stop by, read, laugh, cry maybe even relapse and throw a tantrum to make your case. We're here to help each other get past this addiction right?

Well not quite. This blog will have opinions and thoughts, about current events and the respective leagues, of this beautiful drug we call football. By no means is this the law of the land, nor is it set in stone, so feel free to refute, 'malign', maybe one day even agree with what is being said.

Epiphany: Fanaticism like hatred, is irrational.

Mission: To be an objective football fan, and critic.

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