Cheaters, one and all
Hello folks. I know it’s been a little while. I had to finish up an important proposal this week and with that now done, I can finally turn my attention to other things, like this blog.
I start with something only only tangentially related to soccer. As bad and morally corrupt as soccer seems sometimes, l cannot say enough how angelic the sport is compared to a couple others – including one of my other passions, Formula One. This week, the Renault F1 team announced that it would not contest allegations that team leadership asked one its drivers to crash his car on purpose in order to move the team’s other driver up in the running order. Read that again and think about this, the team asked one of its drivers to risk his own life, the life of other drivers and even the life of fans to crash his car into a wall on the Singapore Street Circuit. One columnist called it the worst act of cheating in the entire history of sport, and I am actually inclined to agree. As bad as Ben Johnson’s doping and Diego Maradona’s handball were, at least no one was at risk of death.
To move this slightly back towards soccer, it also turns out that the head of Renault F1, who just quit the team, could be forced to sell his majority share of English Championship club QPR if found guilty of the allegations.
This really puts the average, everyday accusation of diving into perspective, doesn’t it?
Looking back at the Champions League, there are few things I hate more than two teams chock full of attacking talent come out and play, “tactically,” to use the nauseating term commentators prefer these days to the more appropriate term, “cowardly.” I just cannot see an excuse for the kind of defensive slop we saw out of Mourinho’s Inter yesterday.
In other matches, Arsenal decided to make its otherwise perfunctory match at Standard Liege more interesting by spotting the Belgians two very early goals. Bendtner clawed one back before halftime and then Vermaelen scored with a goal that featured not one, but two players in an offside position AND a pretty clear handball by Song, as well. Eduardo scored a winner three-minutes later on a straight-forward case of Liege forgetting to mark anyone on a corner kick. It was ugly, really ugly, but I think I speak for all Arsenal fans when I say, in the wake of the City match, “WE’LL TAKE IT!”
Not too many surprises in the other match as Milan, Chelsea, Manchester Untied, and Liverpool ground out results and Real Madrid proved that might just not need a defense in order to succeed in Europe this season.
More to come later today