Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

Obi-Woy uses the Force…

"These aren't the players you're looking for..."

What a difference seven days make.

Last week, I was writing stories (at my day job) about Spain’s victory, laughing as I realized I had inadvertently picked their victory song.  But on the inside, I was an emotional blender.  On one hand, I knew we’d be jumping into another League season, which is my true love.

On the other hand, I’m a Liverpool fan….

Last season ended bleakly to say the least.  Drawing on the last day to Hull meant the Reds finished in seventh place, missing out on the valuable Champions League next season.  The owners were 350 million pounds in debt and looking to sell.  The manager bailed to fashionable Milan. The team’s two best players looked tired — and in Torres case, damaged — and it looked like rats for the good ship Anfield.

But then Woy appeared.  Like old Ben Kenobi appearing out of the desert — alright then, Fulham — Roy Hodgson didn’t look like much. But he seems to have added a calming and stabilizing, er, force to a team very much in transition.

Before the World Cup was over, Liverpool announced the signing of Serbian striker Milan Jovanovic.  Of course, Rafael Benitez did the deal before leaving.  But Jovanovic scored a nice poacher’s goal against Ze Germans… something that neither Torres or Rooney managed to do. He’s coming from the less-than-impressive Belgian league… but I expect the team will lean on him early as Torres struggles to regain fitness.

And then… a minor coup.  Obviously using a Cockney mind-trick, Woy somehow convinced want-away Joe Cole to leave Swinging London and set up camp on Hoth… I mean, Merseyside. I’m now stopping with the Star Wars references…

So now the questions start:

How will he play? Is he washed up at 28, or can he finally play the game he was destined to play?

Where will he play? Cole has said he sees himself in an attacking midfield role.  Um, hello… Number 10? Meet Number Eight.  Steven Gerrard has all but said he is now staying with the team. But England’s problem –where to play both Lampard and Gerrard — may now be Liverpool’s problem: where to play both Cole and Gerrard.

Can he keep fit? Liverpool fans are just about fed up with superstar signings touted as the next Red hope, only to spend too much time on the physio table. Torres, Aquilani, and Johnson spring to mind.

But no matter.  Hodgson admits that Cole’s arrival does not automatically solve all of Liverpool’s problems. What he has done is what he was brought in to do: Stop the leak, soothe fears, and — Praise Cheebus — win.   But do or do not. There is no try. Sorry.

Side note: Liverpool — along with five other Premier League teams — has banned vuvuzelas at its home games.  Small mercies.

Brent Lanthier

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It could happen…

Kevin Hoggard

10 Things that I hope will happen in the Premiership this year:

1.       Roy Hodgson’s new cuddly approach will involve having a sleepover for his squad.  All the players will get dropped off by their mothers and they’ll all share one big bed.  Gerrard will suck his thumb and fight with Torres over his teddy bear while Woy reads them a bed time story about one night in Istanbul.  Dirk Kuyt will run around the room for 90 minutes without actually achieving anything.

Granddad Woy shows the lads what the CL trophy looks like…

2.       That all players have to grow facial hair, of their own choosing, until they score a goal.  Note to Fat Frank: “Deflected goals do not count.”

3.       Rory Delap has an operation to make his shoulders double-jointed.  He will now be able to launch a throw into the area from any position on the pitch.  A sign in the Stoke tunnel will read you must be 6’4” to go on the pitch.

4.       Penalty kicks will no longer decide cup matches.  The match will now be decided by a cage match involving four players from each team.  Players will have suitable monikers and be required to wear skin tight lycra.  John Terry, or ‘The Terry-nator’, will be a figure of hate as numerous WAGs grab the microphone and tell of how they’ve cheated on their man with the Chelsea captain.

5.       A two-week winter break is introduced and the top 10 managers in the Premier League will go into the Big Brother house and battle it out for the public’s vote.  Big Sam will spend every waking minute in the diary room complaining about everything.  Harry Redknapp will constantly tell people that the food in the cupboard is down to the bare bones.  Alex Ferguson will be found in his bedroom with every bottle of alcohol stacked in the corner, whispering the words “My Precious” and clawing at anybody coming within range.

6.       Rio will roofie Wayne Rooney two hours before the game.  Whilst asleep Rio will paint Rooney’s face green and wake him up 5 minutes before kick-off and he will run onto the pitch in complete ignorance to the sniggers of his team mates.  Donkey will be in the technical area shouting out instructions.

7.       Shaun Wright-Phillips will run out of the tunnel at the Eastlands only to have a sharp steel girder drop down and take his head off.  He will continue to run around for 90 minutes and nobody will notice the difference.

8.       Arsene Wenger is affected by the same truth wish that Jim Carrey had in Liar Liar.  When asked after the game if he saw an incident, Arsene will reply “Yes of course I saw it.  Why wouldn’t I?  I was watching the game.”  “So do you think Bendtner took a dive?”  “Definitely!  I’ve seen it on the monitor and nobody touched him.”  Arsene will look bemused as if he can’t believe he just said that out loud and, on parting, he will turn to the camera and say “And before you ask, Walcott really isn’t very good.”  Arsene will leave shaking his head.

9.       The British Government will kidnap Lionel Messi and put him into a village, like in The Prisoner.  He will be kept there by a big bouncing Jabulani ball.  The only other residents of the village will be 300 fertile young women.  2028 will be the start of 16 years of dominance by a pint sized England team and David James will still be in goal.  England shirts will be sold for $10 as they all have the same name on the back and are purchased in a massive job lot from China.

10) Shakira is given an honorary season ticket for Blackburn.  Her love affair with football finishes by the end of August 2010. 

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