Thursday, June 30, 2011

The King, Has Returned...

Hi all:

After a month of relentlessly searching for an apartment, finding one, paying for one, packing, moving, unpacking, and living - I am back and it feels good! Now that I am all settled, let me tell you about certain things in world football that are unsettling to me at the moment:

They have won it all. Everything. Their players are the best ever. Their team is the best ever. And I am tired of it. I am fed up with their success and style of play. Sick of it! Just when I thought some Barca-relief was on its way after the season ended, quite the opposite has occurred, as every news source indicates any player, anywhere, of any age,  is tied to a summer move to Barcelona. Any semi-large move in world football has at least two teams interested in the player: Team X and Barcelona. For more on that, see below.

Transfer Sagas
The summer window is a super-exciting time to be a football fan. Each hour, die-hardistas like myself sit on the edge of our seats and pray to Pele himself that the next big star will put pen to paper for our team, not Lazio merda. Along with this on-the-edge prayfest, comes the long, drawn-out sagas that will capture headlines for weeks, months, or even the whole summer. Here are some of those sagas:

Cesc Fabregas Arsenal
Price Tag €30M - €40M
Fabregas fuels speculation of a move to the New York Mets ...
Another summer, another saga. Will Cesc Fabregas finally leave Arsenal for Barcelona (or the Mets)?! The young captain's future was made clear, in a muddled way, as he was omitted from Arsenal's new kit photo-shoot earlier this week. Football pundits see this as a great big sign that Cesc will leave. My opinion: I think they are right.

Alexis Sanchez Udinese
Price tag €35M - €45M
The Chilean winger has certainly caused quite the coup on football's front pages as of late, with both Manchester teams and Barcelona, naturally, interested in the player. Sanchez has publicly stated it's Barca or bust, and the Catalan giants have put in their final bid for the player (supposedly). Will this drag on? I'd wager he leaves Udine and gets dumped into the talent ocean in Barcelona.

Future star/got2be spokesman
Neymar Santos
Price tag €40M - €50M
We might never see the end of the Neymar saga which means we might never see the end of a rooster haircut appearing on our browser every single day, at any time of the day. The talented young Brazilian, who apparently has the Midas Touch, is wanted by five clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala. I'm not sure where the young gun will end up, but frankly, I'm too tired of hearing about him to care.

Javier Pastore Palermo
Price tag €30M - €50M
Argentine hitman Javier Pastore could certainly be headed for an exit this summer, but to where, I know not. Palermo President Mauro Zamparini seems willing to let the player go and is up to his old, not-so-sly tricks of asking for ridiculous amounts of money for players, then randomly accepting less. Pastore should make a move, but who knows with a crazy old man pulling the strings.

Charlie Adam Blackpool
Price tag Who cares?
Despite all the big money moves on the line in world football, nothing makes me more angry than constantly seeing rumors about Charlie Adam. It started during the winter window: he was going to Liverpool for sure but the move fell through at the penultimate moment. Now here we are again: he's going to Liverpool but the move has stalled because blammo, Chelsea and Spurs are in the mix! Is this player really worth all this speculation? Please stop.

The Gold Cup
I know the Gold Cup is not tremendous news to those around world football, but to us Americans, it's pretty much all we had this summer. Which is why I am sad to say, it sucked bad. The USMNT played sub-par the whole tournament on their way to getting smashed by their fiercest rival Mexico, again. Bob Bradley seemed to have no grasp of his lineup and fielded a few question marks consistently.

I agree with Sweat Pants Bob on benching leading USMNT scorer of all time Landon Donovan for the match in which he arrived from his sister's wedding at 7am on gameday, but the rest of the games? Are you kidding me?

FIFA's new rankings came out and supporters of American soccer should have cringed when they saw the top ten: 9. Mexico. Our benchmark just jumped into the top ten! We're in the top 25 though...barely. I think it is time for some changes in the national team camp. Sorry to say, but I think Bob Bradley must go.

Well, that's all that's bothering me at the moment. Stay tuned for some more regular Sensible Soccer posts!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chicharito Still Impressing

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is truly sensational! After a stellar year at Manchester United, the 'Little Pea,' better known as the normal sized 'Pea' at this point, recorded a hat trick in Mexico's first match at this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Have a look at his cheeky chip, which Dirty Tackle points out as extremely embarassing for the keeper. Sensible Soccer agrees whole-heartedly:

That was Chicharito's third of the night. Quite a start to the tournament! Thus begins Mexico's journey to most likely another Gold Cup victory. I fear USA will be outclassed by this scrappy Mexican side. We'll see!

Stay tuned for more Gold Cup 2011 updates...

Football Spy is Back!

Your guide to the topsy-turvy summer transfer window is back!! Brought to you by the Daily Mirror, Football Spy is a comprehensive transfer source you can trust.  Summertime is Spy's bread and butter, so follow along with my friend Darren on a daily basis and do not hesitate to email in questions to or comment on their videos at Footytube or You Tube.

Check out today's edition of Spy and keep following along: