Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Power Rankings

tie-1. Manchester United (26 Points)
Winner of the match this weekend is in first place. United remain absolutely en fuego, scoring 4 goals in every game they play.

tie-1. Arsenal (26 Points)
Arsenal and United are both on 26 points, but Arsenal have a game in hand. If they had taken full points off Liverpool over the weekend they'd be in first alone, but United cannot be ignored. This team also loses credit because of that trainwreck Almunia in net.

3. Chelsea (21 Points)
Can't put City over them, because City just got shown why they do not belong in the Champions League. Chelsea quietly are building a head of steam, and I don't see them stopping any time soon.

4. Blackburn (21 Points)
Shhhhhh, don't look now, but this team is on the verge of stepping up into the Champions League.

5. Liverpool (20 Points)
They need to take full points off their final 3 Champions League matches, to even have a chance at progressing into the knockout stage. Their league form has been poor as well. Mark Klautenberg gifted them a match against Everton 2 weeks ago, aside from that they would be in the middle of an embarassing stretch. By the way, Steven Gerrard is playing like ABSOLUTE crap. For Liverpool AND England.

6. Manchester City (22 Points)
That's what happens when you lose 6-0. I was shocked to see Chelsea run circles around this team, it didn't even look like they were trying.

7.Portsmouth (19 Points)
They've played Liverpool, Arsenal, United, and Chelsea. They drew United and Liverpool at home, in games that could have been won, and lost to Arsenal and Chelsea on the road. The fact that they have played those 4 matches and they are still on 19 points and in 7th on the table, speaks a lot for Harry.

8. Everton (16 Points)
They've been dropping a lot of points lately, but I think they will stumble onto their form and go on a nice run. Liverpool were extremely fortunate to beat them, and aside from that, Everton have been playing pretty well.

9. West Ham (14 Points)
Too many draws, but they really do play well. Some of those draws will eventually turn into wins for this club, and they will put up a good fight in the middle of the table.

10. Newcastle (17 Points)
Win a game, lose a game, win a game, lose a game. This team is frustrating. They go and beat Spurs 3-1, than lose to Reading 2-1.

11. Aston Villa (11 Points)
Sinking like a rock. My good friend Matt Clayton chose to support this team after I showed him the Villa-Chelsea match and the Villa-Liverpool match. He fell in love with Ashley Young, and hasn't looked back since. I kind of feel bad the way this team is just falling apart.

The remaining 9 teams just don't deserve to be talked about. They should all be relegated. I would rank them just as they lie on the table probably, maybe with Tottenham a few spots higher.
12. Reading
13. Birmingham
14. Tottenham
15. Fulham
16. Sunderland
17. Wigan
18. Middlesbrough
19. Bolton
20. Derby

I promise this much, Bolton and Derby will definitely be relegated at the end of this season.

A Note from Raj

You must be proud that two of your pupils are in the final….

I am more than proud. They’ve learnt too much. Last year at Real Madrid when we played Barcelona we had dinner with Laporta and he told me that Rijkaard has learned a lot from me. After our 3-0 defeat I told Laporta that Rijkaard had learnt too much, so have Benitez and Ancelotti.

It is normal in the case of Carlo. After all he played for you. But Benitez went to learn your methods in his honeymoon, that’s stranger…

He came to see me work at Milanello and when I was with the Italian NT.
He is a great coach. He is showing that in a special football like English football. His biggest strength is that he can achieve much with very few top quality players. Gerrard is his most talented player, but he hasn’t got two like him. Liverpool are exemplary in two ways: their spirit and tactical organization. Benitez knows what he is doing. His team lacks talent, but they are a true team, compact, modern and with a great football culture. He’s work has been fantastic.

He has said no to Real Madrid again…

I know, I have read it. I believe Rafa is ready to coach Real Madrid or any club in the world. He is a master like very few, and when you have an encyclopaedia like him on the bench you have to trust the master. Rafa reminds me of myself when I was young. He is like me in some ways, but he has gone higher than me. He won the league and the UEFA Cup with Valencia. He arrived at Liverpool with a better CV than me when I arrived at Milan from Parma. I don’t share the opinion that Rafa can only coach teams without stars. If the star players don’t work hard they are worth nothing. You can see proof of that at Real Madrid last season.

= Arrigo Sacchi on Benitez.

This was sent to me from a good friend, an unfortunate Liverpool fan. I guess some people are still supporting him, but if I were a Scouse there would be a lot of questions I'd be asking right now. Arrigo Sacchi is famous for his time spent with AC Milan, back to back European Cups, some Serie A titles, and a handful of other trophies. He's pretty well respected, but I think he may be a little biased here. I don't doubt that Benitez is a good manager, but I think his time in Liverpool is probably up.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Power Rankings

It's another international break, so here is another edition of my power rankings. For those of you who don't think I know anything I would like to take this time to tell YOU THE READER, that I am currently ranked 1963/82,457 on I Know The Score. THat is the Official Premier League Predictor website. I'm just saying, I know a thing or two. On to the rankings!

1. Manchester United
I'm not saying I don't love what Arsenal are doing, and they may just be the best team in the world. There is one thing that bothers me though. They haven't really played any tough matches away from home. They've won some good matches at home, but when you consider that they've only played outside of London leaves a little bit to be desired. Manchester United started the season so rough, and to only be two points off the mark is very impressive. They are the champions defending, and they deserve to be here.

2. Arsenal
If they can maintain their current form going into the match at Anfield next month, I will coronate them as kings of England. Until then, I'm simply unimpressed with continuous drubbings of Bolton, Tottenham, and Steaua Bucaresti.

3. Manchester City
What can you say about this team. They play gorgeous football, rooting for them is absolutley infectious. I hope they fight for a Champions League spot all season. The goings are still early though

4. Liverpool
Rafa is an idiot. This team should be in first by a country mile, instead he rotates and rotates and watches wins turn to draws. Fire Benitez.

5. Portsmouth
Harry for Chelsea! I love their manager. This spot is probably an aberration but they do play damned hard down there on the South coast.

6. Chelsea
My beloved Blues are slowly coming back to life. A 2-1 win over Valencia, 1-0 at Bolton and a nicely timed international break will likely bring everyone back around to rememebering who they play for.

7. Aston Villa
HE'S HERE! HE'S THERE! HE'S EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE! ASHLEY YOUNGGGGG! ASHLEY YOUNNGGGG! (note: for some reason he cannot be found on the England National Team)

8. Blackburn
Just can't win close games for some reason. Start putting more balls into the net and they will move up.

9. Newcastle
Model of inconsistency

10. Everton
Read spot #9

11. West Ham
12. Wigan Athletic
13. Birmingham
14. Reading
15. Sunderland
16. Tottenham
17. Fulham
18. Middlesboro
19. Bolton

20. Derby County
This team will be relegated, watch them now because you will probably never see them again.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Goodbye Jose

I've been avoiding writing anything since the fall of "The Special One", Jose Mourinho. I had a few different ideas for what I wanted to write about concerning the genius former manager of Chelsea. First, I wanted to write about his career over the last few years and what he's done. Then, I wanted to write about the ridiculousness of the situation. I finally decided to write about my complete outrage at Chelsea FC. If anyone ever wanted a lesson on exactly what not to do with a winning franchise this is it. Jose Mourinho has taken this club to back-to-back Premiership championships; two Carling Cup victories; two apperances in the Semifinals of The Champions League; and an FA Cup victory. I understand that upper-management had its differences with Jose, over team selection and style of play, but this was just a foolish move. The back-stabbing and lying that has come out through the media since the termination of Jose has been downright horrifying for me and any Chelsea fan to endure. According to several reports in the media, John Terry seems to have led the final charge at Jose's job, and I can't tell you how betrayed I feel. It's now become clear that my 'captain' only has himself on the mind. Apparently, at halftime of the Chelsea-Rosenborg Champions League draw, Jose called Terry out for not playing as himself all season. This is the right of any manager, as it is his job to push his players. Instead, Terry continued to play lousy and then stabbed Jose in the back by going to Peter Kenyon and Abromovich and saying that Mourinho's antics were dividing the locker room. There was no division in the locker room, just Terry being unable to handle criticism. The locker room that was so 'divided' was in tears the following day upon learning of Jose being pushed out the door. The chemistry of the team is now in shambles, nobody trusts anybody else, and Abromovich has installed one of his lackey's to take charge of the team. I would be SHOCKED, to see Chelsea qualify for Champions League next year, at the rate they are working, they will struggle to finish on the top half of the table. Roman Abromovich has absolutely nobody to blame but himself for this problem. Team owners belong at the desk signing checks, not meddling in team affairs. Now we are stuck with Avram Grant in charge of a team of superstars. Avram Grant, who's biggest footballing achievement has been winning the Israeli Cup. That is roughly the equivalent of winning a local High School soccer tournament. Abromovich fired Mourinho because he wasn't playing appealing football, well now Chelsea have scored 1 goal from open play in their last 7 league matches. A team that came into the season looking to push for Champions League glory, and for the Premiership, will now struggle to qualify for Europe next season, and will certainly be knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.

Theoretically, the players on this team should be good enough to pull through and play competitively. However, the chemistry on the team is at a shockingly low level. Lampard, Essien, Cole, Carvalho, Ferreira, Drogba, Malouda and Bridge have all asked to be sold off to other teams as soon as possible. Shevchenko is now looked at as nothing more than a whiny, grunty spy for Abromovich. John Terry has the label of backstabbing baby, instead of leader and captain. I will always be a fan of Chelsea, but I must say these are dark days, and they are embarassing days. The concept of Chelsea Pride is dead, and Jose Mourinho will always have a place in my heart. I look forward to following him for the rest of his career for all the joy he has given me, and there is a part of me that hopes one day he does have his revenge on Abromovich in the Champions League.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chelsea? Chelsea? Anyone, Chelsea?

I waited an extra day to post because I wanted to sit through the first day of Champions League draws. I wasn't planning on posting entirely about Chelsea, but something has to be said now. We have reached crisis mode. Where did the goals go, guys? I remember when I first started following Chelsea, they were exciting. They played exciting, fast paced football, and took the entire league by storm. They scored goals by the dozen, and were an unstoppable, DETERMIND, wrecking crew. How good were they? The team that won the title in 2004-05, broke a few major records in the top-flight. Remember what I said last week about how important hunger was for a team? The 2004-05 Chelsea team broke the points record in the Premiership, losing only one match all season and finishing on 95 points. How many goals did they concede? 15. That's less than one goal per match. This season, through 6 matches, Chelsea have lost to Aston Villa already, and have conceded 6 goals. If you watch this team, you can just see that they lack the cohesion and the desire that they used to have. Chelsea's last five results: 1-1 to Rosenborg, 0-0 to Blackburn, 0-2 at Villa, 1-1 at Liverpool, and 1-0 to Portsmouth. One win, three draws, and a loss. A draw, at home, to Rosenborg is just completely unacceptable. Nil-Nil to Blackburn at home...AT HOME! STAMFORD BRIDGE IS A FORTRESS! Nobody has won there since 2005! Now, Rosenborg, the little Norwegian engine that could, is pulling 1-1 draws. If someone can find the real Jose Mourinho, that would be great. We need help, immediately.

If none of this makes sense, I'm sorry, I'm in a bit of rage right now. 1-1 to Rosenborg at home, in the Champions League. A home loss in the group stage of the Champions League means that Chelsea will have to make up points somewhere else while on the road. It also means that they can't screw up again. Valencia and Schalke will prove to be tough opponents for Chelsea, and I'm beginning to fear that Chelsea's season might just be over a month after the season started. I'm going to come back and read this in a day or so and realize it makes no sense to anybody. Again, I'm sorry but I had to do some venting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Brief History on Michael Owen

For many people new to football, Michael Owen is a name synonymous with injury. He hasn't played much in the last few years, and has always had a lot of hype surrounding him. I'm writing this after England's 3-0 victory over Russia (massive win for the lions, now securely in 2nd place for Euro 2008). For the last 3 years or so, Michael Owen has been stuck in injury hell. I think it is almost safe to say that he has fully returned to full form, and he's been showing so on the pitch. In his last 5 matches for club and country he has scored 6 goals.
Owen's career started at Liverpool, which fit because he was from Merseyside (he was raised through the Liverpool system, signing a "school boy" deal at age 13). I think this has a lot to do with his hero status, as Liverpool are one of the most beloved teams in the world. He signed on to the senior Liverpool squad at age 17, scored a goal in his first match as a substitute against Wimbledon, and hasn't really looked back since. He spent 8 years at Liverpool, and over 216 appearances with the Reds, he scored 118 goals. He went on to spend an extremely unsuccessful season at Real Madrid, where things never clicked, and was then signed by Newcastle United. I'm pretty sure he got off the plane at Newcastle Airport, and was injured immediately. He's only appeard 17 times for Newcastle, and scored 8 times. It'd be tough to defend his record with the Magpies, but I still hold hope that the Michael Owen of old will return.
The real legend of Michael Owen comes from his performance on the International level. He has started at 4 different major tournaments, Euro 2000, 2004, and World Cup 2002, 2006. He's scored in each of those tournaments aside from World Cup 2006. Also, he is 4th on the list of all time England goal-scorers. Add to this the fact htat he is only 27, and he has even missed the last year and a half, that is all pretty impressive. People remember him for his form against Germany in the 5-1 drubbing in Munich. Or the fact that he was the only one to ever show up for England in their 2002 Quarterfinal against Brazil. He is an absolute legend for what he has done for the Three Lions. He also has 85 caps, and that puts him only 15 short of that 100 plateau.
To see Michael Owen finally returning to form is really a huge boost for England and Newcastle fans. He has always been and always will be a fan favorite because of the effort he puts out, and after such a tumultous few years it is really nice to see him back to normal. Michael Owen, we here at Rear Window salute your efforts....unless you ever go back to Liverpool. Than it is down, down you Scouser scum.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

EPL Power Rankings

It's an international break, so I figure now is as good a time as ever to break out some Power Rankings. Let's rock out.

1. Liverpool (3-1-0) 10 pts- They're first on the table, and they have a game in hand. Their only slip up came at the hands of a disputable Chelsea penalty at Anfield. They scored 6 on Derby, giving them a goal difference of 9. This team is going to be close to impossible to stop.
2. Arsenal (3-1-0) 10 pts- Second on the table, and another team that has been fuego. Cesc Fabregas is campaigning for PFA Player of the Year. I do think they will slip a little as the season goes, because they are still a little soft.
3. Blackburn (2-2-0) 8 pts- These guys are good, and more imporantly DEEP. Benni McCarthy, Matt Derbyshire, Roque Santa Cruz, and that mountain of a man Samba in back all help build a team that will threaten to steal a Champions League spot. I don't really believe they will do that when it's all said and done, but they are good. Draws against Arsenal and Everton are nothing to sneeze at.
4. Everton (3-1-0) 10 pts- They blew Tottenham out of the water AT White Hart Lane. The only reason I put them behind Blackburn is because Blackburn drew them at Goodison Park, so one would have to think that Blackburn is the better team. I watched the game though and I'm not so sure that is a correct opinion. Watch this team to really push this year for one of those Champions League spots.
5. Newcastle United (2-2-0) 8 pts- Oh Baby! They should be 3-1-0, but Middlesborough pulled out a miracle at The Riverside. Big Sam has these boys playing wonderful football. Michael Owen is scoring goals, Obafemi Martins is still dominant, and the back four has been shored up as well with some nice buys from Bolton. TOON ARMY!
6. Chelsea (3-1-1) 10 pts- Some people would see this and call me a negative nancy, but I am intensely worried about this team. That loss to Villa wasn't the only thing to get me concerned, they haven't played well all season. They were lucky to beat Birmingham at home to open; lucky to squeeze past Portsmouth thanks to an Ashley Cole header; and they should've been down 3-0 at half to Reading and were lucky to score 2 in the 2nd in that match. They aren't clicking at all, they aren't playing that beautiful football that Roman Abramovich asked for, and the Ballack/Shevchenko drama is getting annoying. The problems at right back have not been solved by Juliano Belletti, because he was found to be not fit for Premiership play in his first match. I hope to God that there is a reason for this (Mourinho is saving it for Champions League?), but right now, this team doesn't even deserve to go to Europe next year.
7. Manchester City (3-0-2) 9 pts- Started the team on fire, but have since trailed off. They've played an interesting schedule, but I get the feeling this team already played their biggest match when they beat Man Utd. 1-0. I highly suggest for people to watch this team, they play interesting football and there is a lot of soap opera drama going on. Sven-Goran Eriksson is their manager, they have Peter Schmichel's son in net, the illegal Thai that owns the team, and all the new players they added. Take a look, its worth it.
8. Manchester United (2-2-1) 8 pts- 8 points with a severely shortened team. I have them at 8 and I promise they will rise to the top 3 in the next few weeks. Ronaldo comes back this weekend, and Rooney is almost fully healthy again. When that triumverate of Ronaldo, Rooney, and Tevez gets cooking, watch out.
9. Portsmouth (1-2-2) 5 pts- Don't be confused with the points and standings, they've played Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea in their first 5 games. The fact they are still at 5 points is mighty impressive, and they should've had a draw at Chelsea if not for a lucky header out of the net by Ashley Cole.
10. Aston Villa (2-1-1) 7 pts- Dominated and out-thought Chelsea at Villa Park 2 weeks ago. Liverpool cheated to steal a win at Villa Park in the first match of the season (Gerard went down faster than Brittany Mills), this team is good. Agbonlahor, Young, and Carew make for a really interesting attacking force, but there are doubts about the backline.
11. Wigan Athletic (2-1-2) 7 pts- I highly doubt they will stay this for much longer. They have won the games they were supposed to win though.
12. West Ham United (2-1-1) 7 pts- I didn't think they had 7 points until I looked at the standings. I feel like they've been a lot worse. I give up on predicting them after the last 2 years.
13. Tottenham Hotspur (1-1-3) 4 pts- I have a soft spot for Spurs. I like Martin Jol, I like Berbatov (until United gets to him), Robbie Keane, Lennon, Defoe are all fun players. I don't get why they can't get it together and play well at the beginning of the season. I have every bit of confidence they will eventually land in that 5 spot, but if they could have come out of the box playing better we would be talking about them pushing Arsenal for the top 4. North London Derby this weekend.
14. Middlesborough (2-1-2) 7 pts- This team is trash. Sorry to fans of 'Boro, but they aren't good. I still believe they will be in a relegation fight for most of the season.
15. Fulham (1-1-3) 4 pts- U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
16. Reading (1-1-3) 4 pts- I feel bad for them, but as well as they played Chelsea and Manchester United, they played like crap against Wigan.
17. Birmingham (1-1-3) 4 pts- Alllllmost got a draw at Stamford Bridge. Went after players up to the very last day of the transfer window. Good for Stevey Bruce, I think they have a shot at staying up.
18. Sunderland (1-1-3) 4 pts- Ehhhhhh. I wanted to believe Keano could keep these guys up this year. I like the Sunderland-Newcastle derby, but I don't know if we'll be watching that next year.
TIE FOR 20. Derby County (0-1-4) and Bolton (1-0-4)- These guys both suck. Bolton may be coming around now, but I don't think they are really going to push out of the relegation zone. As for Derby County, I really don't like them because they gave up 6 to Liverpool. Honestly, I think Derby is one of the worst teams I've ever seen, including MLS teams.

My New Favorite Place

Eli Manning is being listed as week-to-week. He says he has a chance of playing on Sunday at home against the Packers. Someone should put me on suicide watch. What did I do to make myself feel better? Spent an unnecessary amount of money at my NEW favorite store. If anybody is living in the North Jersey area, I BEG you to check out the Premier Soccer Shop. It's located in Hoboken, New Jersey (157 First Street). GREAT STORE! They had a HUGE selection of jerseys, training gear, and other club paraphanelia. I bought the new Newcastle shirt and a gorgeous Chelsea track jacket. On top of that I got to hang out and talk footie with the guy running the store while we watched LA Galaxy play a snoozefest against Colorado Rapids. I hung out for an hour with the nice guy (Middlesborough fan transplanted here), and we discussed every aspect of football possible. It was much needed relief from the misery of the Eli Manning news. My only problem with the store is that they don't have a printing machine to put names and numbers on the backs of shirts, but the guy assured me that they would soon be adding one. I highly suggest a visit to the Premier Soccer Shop if anyone is in the area and they are looking for a jersey and don't feel like going online.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some football...and football

For my first writing in nearly a year, I'm going to focus primarily on football (soccer). Of course I would be foolish to ignore the opening of the American Football campaign, and I will talk a little about that. For the most part, my writing on Rear Window is going to focus on football, American and regular, and not so much politics, music, movies, etc. I'm going to do my best to post frequently, and keep it as short and sweet as possible. Without further ado, and with respect to Peter King, here are a few things I think about the opening weekend of the NFL Season:

-Eli Manning looked terrific. You knew I was going to start with this, but it has to be said. He was extremely confident in the pocket, very accurate with his throws, and I think he was easily the best quarterback on the field at Texas Stadium. Eli went 28/41 (if you watched the game you would know that there were at least 5 dropped balls that should have gone for good yardage as well) with 4td's and 1 int. The pick wasn't even his fault, it was a timing curl that would have been perfect had Plaxico not slipped and fell. I'm excited to see what the Eli naysayers will speak of now.

-The Giants Defense is horrible. Terrible. I don't have enough adjectives to use here, let's just say they will give up a lot of points.

-The NFC in general doesn't look to be really good either. The cream of the crop is in the AFC and I think it's a safe bet that the Super Bowl Champion will come from New England or Indianapolis.

-Ladies and gentleman, Ben Roethlisberger. Career High 4 TD game, and an absolute crushing of AFC North rivals Cleveland. Who needs that guy Bill? (Note: The New York Giants desperately need him)

-Before the Saints-Colts game on Thursday I predicted the Saints would lose by 20. I was way off...they lost by 31. This team is not that good, and I think they are on the path to being found out.

-You may have noticed that I left San Diego out when I spoke of Super Bowl champions. Norv Turner is their coach, seems like everyone in the media is choosing to disregard that. Look for San Diego and New Orleans to be pretty big dissappointments.

-I know we're already a week in but I'm going to put them up anyway. My playoff predictions this year:
NFC: 1. Dallas 2. Seattle 3. Minnesota 4. Carolina 5. New Orleans 6. New York
AFC: 1. New England 2. Indianapolis 3. San Diego 4. Baltimore 5. Pittsburgh 6. Cincinatti

Ok, I'm already breaking my promise about keeping it short, but come on it's the first article back. We got a little more to talk about. I'm going to focus on 'soccer' now, there's so much to talk about, but I will try and stay focused. Again, all respect to Peter King, here are a few things I think about the world of FUTBOL.

-We're halfway through another FIFA international break (Euro Qualifying, International Friendlies, and other boring and unimportant matches). Can't they find a way to lump these breaks together during the offseason so that they don't interrupt the real season that is going on? If I have to see Czech Republic v.s San Marino one more time, I'm going to hurt the TV. I swear to God I don't even know where San Marino is.

-Chelsea have looked pitiful this season. There is absolutley no creativity coming forward, and there is no sense of urgency that used to be there. At the end of last season I was tearing up because I thought that the team may be broken up. I couldn't be any further from that opinion now. This team NEEDS to be broken up. There is too much ego, too much money, and not enough passion for winning. I legitimately miss the Eider Gudjohnsen, Damien Duff type of guys who played their hearts out. The Shevchenko/Ballack experiment has officially failed miserably. They have served only to poison the clubhouse with their $260,000/week paychecks. I could go on about this all day, but it makes me sick.

-On the other hand, Liverpool and Arsenal look poised to make a run for it in the BPL (Barclay's Premier League, no longer the English Premier League). Yes, I know only 10% of the matches have been played, but they both look terrific, and more importantly, HUNGRY. That is something that Chelsea lacks. Manchester United need to figure out their Striker situation and goal scoring problems before it is too late and they find themselves trailing Liverpool and Arsenal by double digits.

-I was wrong about Fernando Torres. I thought he was too soft, he isn't.

-Until I die I will never stop wondering why Jose Mourinho chose to trot out Geremi to take a Penalty Kick in that Champions League Semifinal last year...It's been 4 months and I don't see myself getting over that loss for a long time.

-I came into the season saying I'd love to see the likes of Blackburn, Everton, Newcastle, Tottenham take a Champions League spot and finish in the top 4. Now, I fear that they may take that spot from Chelsea, and I am petrified. Chelsea in the UEFA Cup and Blackburn in the Champions sends shivers down my spine.

-Speaking of Newcastle, they are still undef...nevermind, I don't want to jinx them. Oh wait, too late. Michael Owen's leg was just found in an alleyway at Bigg Market.

-Manchester City and Sven-Goran Eriksson. Started as a cool story, now coming back to Earth. They'll be fun to follow though.

-Finally, David Beckham. How shitty a football writer would I be if I did not even mention Golden Balls' name. Saw him live at the Meadowlands at the "Greatest MLS game Ever Played." There is no question that interest in the sport is at an all time high. Now if we can just keep this going for the NEXT 5 YEARS OF HIS CONTRACT. Everyone take a step back and relax about the injuries and the missed playoffs for the LA Galaxy. We've only seen Chapter 1, and I think it went beautifully. It wouldn't be fun if he came in and won everything right away. Let's see the team build up around him, and the competition in the league build up around him, and see if he can do it in a few years. For now, sit back, and enjoy the beauty that is Posh Spice and a Becks free kick.