Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Football update: The Spanish media is reporting that Barcelona plans to buy Cristiano Ronaldo for next season, that the deal is going to happen. Sounds like a great idea to me, he's young and a great player. The question is which midfielder do you get rid of--Deco, Xavi, or Iniesta? Doesn't make sense to have four skill guys to play two skill midfield positions. I suppose you could change to a 4-4-2 and play three skill guys along with Edmilson or Márquez as the defensive midfielder, but it looks to me like somebody is going to get sold.

Other players likely on their way out: Ezquerro, who is a decent player, but just doesn't belong here, Motta, who is nowhere near living up to his promise, Thuram, who has not been what was expected, and Jorquera, who is several years older than Valdés and not convincing as the backup goalie. Also, Barça is getting old at both fullback positions, with Zambrotta, Belletti, Sylvinho, and van Bronckhorst all over 30.

Barça defender Oleguer, a fine player, is also a political idiotarian, a Commie ultra-Cataloony. He even "wrote" a book last year full of his ill-considered ravings. Now he's written an article, published in a pro-ETA Basque newspaper, calling on the government to free De Juana Chaos. Question: If Fascist Italian player Fabio di Canio has been widely criticized for his extremist political views, why not Oleguer?

Spain and England play a friendly tonight, which should be fun. Both teams are notorious underachievers, and both are in trouble in the preliminary round of Eurocup qualifying. They don't like each other, either, after Spanish coach Luis Aragonés's highly racist comments about Thierry Henry and the Spanish crowd's racist jeering of the black English players.

Nobody's really sure what's happening at Real Madrid. Is Calderón in or out as club president? Is Capello in or out as coach? Is Madrid ever going to win another match after the 0-1 humiliation they suffered in their own stadium against Levante last week?

Note: There are currently 10 American players starting in the English Premier League. Mostly for mediocre teams, to be sure, your Fulhams and Watfords and Readings. I suppose the only two playing for important clubs are Howard at Everton and Ogeiwu at Newcastle. Still, our boys are getting a little better; I'll bet in two more years there'll be twenty of them. American players seem to do better in the physical English league than in the more skill-oriented Spanish or Italian leagues, and language and culture also have to be a factor.

No comments: