September 29th, 2010 by SeveSanchez
September 21st, 2010 by FabioDicecca
I was recently talking with a friend of mine and we stumbled upon the topic of Champions League soccer. I joked again about how I believed that Roma was going to win it this year. He laughed and said, “You should focus on winning lo scudetto, and leave the Champions League to the big teams [he’s a Juventus fan].” I brushed off the big team comment as ridiculous (since Roma definitely is) and began wondering how important domestic league wins are to CL wins (I’ve been doing a lot of stats stuff lately and yes, it’s kind of dorky). Since the tournaments inception in 1955, there have been 21 winners from 10 different countries. Here is the breakdown of each winner with the year of their first CL win in parenthesis followed by the number of league championships won prior to that (includes year they won CL, if applicable):
Real Madrid (1956) – 5 Milan (1963) – 8
Liverpool (1977) – 8 Bayern Munich (1974) – 5
Ajax (1971) – 14 Barcelona (1992) – 12
Internazionale (1964) – 8 Manchester United (1968) – 7
Benfica (1961) – 11 Juventus (1985) – 21
Porto (1987) – 9 Nottingham (1979) – 1
Marseille (1993) – 8 Steaua Bucuresti (1986) – 11
Hamburg (1983) – 7 Celtic (1967) – 22
Borussia Dortmund (1997) – 5 Red Star Belgrade (1991) – 10
PSV Eindhoven (1988) – 10 Aston villa (1982) – 7
Feyenoord (1970) – 9
I know that there are a lot of other factors that need to be considered such as the year the league was created, the difficulty of competition in each league, the finances of each club, and wins after 1955, but I don’t have the time for that, so this is all you get for now. Overall, the average number of domestic league wins is 9.43 (if we take out Celtic, Juventus, and Nottingham as outliers, the average is 8.55) with the low being 1 for Nottingham and the high of 22 for Celtic. This isn’t great news since Roma has only won the scudetto three times in its history which means we need to win approximately 5 more championships to start to consider CL glory. Hey, if Nottingham can do it, then so can we. Forza Roma!
September 17th, 2010 by SeveSanchez
I know, I know, it’s so tough to schedule your weekend activities. These days the weekends creep up on you like ninja warriors. What once was T.G.I.F. should probably read more like O.M.G.I.F. You finish up work/school/whatever Friday afternoon then you immediately have to flex your social muscles/unwind/support your kids’ fledgling social biceps. By the time you wake up Saturday morn, you could already have missed it.
I’m talking about you, Mr. Everton 3-3 Man United at 7:45 AM ET aka at the buttcrack of dawn in Sanchez timezone. A contender for Thriller of the Season and you (like this idiot) missed it. And for no good reason, except for that fact that you’re too busy taking the family or your roommate Ravi out for Indian food to prepare for that sort of double-espresso morning clash.
I mean, the warning signs were all there. Wayne Rooney fresh in the headlines for alleged infidelity (I’m not even going there, nice try) and he has to return to Goodison to face his old colors. (There’s a great “once a blue, always a blue” joke somewhere in there but I’m too impatient to let it mature)… Rumors of a “No Woman, No Kai” song spreading like Yo Mama jokes in 1994… Alex Ferguson preparing to do the unthinkable and drop an undroppable player because of gossip/fan abuse…
So, we shouldn’t have been surprised to see read about a 3-3 injury time comeback stunner, right? And yet, missing a game like that still stung like a Saguaro jockstrap. But cacti undergarments for you no more! I’m making use of my Friday squeaky bum time to give you the lowdown on what you need to be watching this weekend. If you really want to tailor your sports viewing schedule to fit mine, you could throw in 3 NFL games and “the golf” on Sunday, but I wouldn’t wish that kind of obsession on a Chelsea fan. So here’s ye olde soccer:
Wolves at Tottenham 10:00 ET Saturday
-Two of the most interesting teams in England. The promoted side was a favorite pick to be this year’s whipping boys, and they still look at times like they could go down 6 or 7. But they haven’t. An opening day win over Stoke and draws with Everton and Newcastle (as well as a 2-1 defeat at Fulham) show they’re not ready to become pushovers, yet.
-On the other hand, Tottenham seem to make a habit of randomly demolishing teams. That whole “Crouch only scores for England against little teams” argument looks just as true when he’s wearing a Spurs top, but no less helpful to his team (club and country). And yet, there they are, dead even in points with Wolves. Perhaps the Champions League campaign will make them an easier scalp in the Prem.
Catania at AC Milan 14:45 ET Saturday
-Ibra watch continues. Shoot, even he‘s watching himself. Check this quote. “I’d like to think I’m a spectacular player, a guy who can do extraordinary things and I’m at the perfect club with this mentality. With brilliant attackers and creators like Robinho, Ronaldinho, Pato, Pirlo and Seedorf around me, this is the perfect stage… We are the new dream team.” Well, time to back it up. Last time these two met it was a tasty 2-2 draw at the San Siro; should be a fun one tomorrow. Oh, and Ibra also did this:
Real Madrid at Real Sociedad 16:00 ET Saturday
-Let’s face it, you might as well pencil in every Mourinho-Madrid match in the “must watch” column. The biggest managerial ego in the hottest seat in football– everyone wants to see how the experiment turns out. Throw in the fact that Barcelona have gone from captivating darlings of the game to whiny, poaching elitists and you have a 38-game soap opera in La Liga. Oh yeah, Sociedad will be turning up Saturday as well. They’re actually even with Real too on 4 points, with their win coming at the expense of disappointing Villarreal. So, maybe they’ll make something of this. Either way, just as good.
Liverpool at Manchester United 8:30 ET Sunday
-Come on, dude. Best fixture in the Premiership. Title implications, legacy implications, decades of animosity, and an array of talent. I don’t know what else I can say. This matchup hasn’t seen an uneventful game since 2006. And it won’t tomorrow.
Blackpool at Chelsea 11:00 ET Sunday
-Chelsea are yet to drop a point in the league, and even better, their scorelines are much more attractive than the flat-chested 1-0 results of Mourinho Times (like Medieval Times, but with the Special One). Until they slow down, they deserve to be thoroughly watched (if only for the goal parade). Blackpool, on the other hand, appears to have the brain of big club in a minnow’s body. They don’t park any buses or stack any midfields– they come out to play football. I think this might be the day Chelsea hit double digits…
Barcelona at Atletico Madrid 13:00 ET Sunday
-Barca. Once loved, now loathed. Hercules showed them to be mortal and Spain rejoiced. They want your favorite team’s best players, but they aren’t willing to pay megabucks (uh, thanks City?) because they’ll chirp incessantly about how Barca are entitled to said players. Congrats, Barca, you’ve become the Lady Gaga of football: can’t-take-my-eyes-off-you entertaining, but really starting to get annoying with your high-and-mightiness. (How awesome would it make my analogy if Barca signed a player named Alejandro?).
-Atleti. The Legend of Diego Forlan and the Ujfalusi Underdogs. Two wins in two for the ugly Madrid stepsister, and just maybe the slightest bit of hope for an outsider winning La Liga. Don’t say it any louder than a whisper though, it’s still too newborn a challenge. Forlan…
You Might Want To Flip Over For…
-Cologne at Bayern Munich 9:30 ET Saturday for Podolski versus Schweinsteiger and the old team.
-Mainz at Werder Bremen 9:30 ET Saturday to see if perfect Mainz are for real, playing legit competition.
-Arsenal at Sunderland 12:30 ET Saturday just on the off chance Wenger’s boys decide to repeat their midweek theatrics.
-Juventus at Udinese 9:00 ET Sunday because Juve is a “big” team and Udinese is fun to watch despite losing both their first two matches.
-Hamburg at St. Pauli 9:30 ET Sunday as it appears there’s something brewing there, and it ain’t St. Pauli Girl. (Hint: it’s the Iroquois ensemble that is Hamburg).
-Manchester City at Wigan 10:00 ET Sunday for the City show. Period.
-Besiktas at Fenerbahce 13:00 ET Sunday for the Turkish (blood)bath.
September 8th, 2010 by SeveSanchez
Who says number 2 is so bad? Check out the Dutch WC team ‘celebrating’ their appearance in the Final. Van Marwijk ought to take a cue from his compatriot Van Gaal in Partying 101.Tags: Dance, Holland, Swedish House Mafia
September 3rd, 2010 by SeveSanchez
Ah yes, it’s that time of the week. The transfer window has closed and now all the major leagues are up and running. Naturally, I’m thrilled to revel in the early season misfortunes of others. Let’s begin.
…..So Alexander Hleb turned down Liverpool to sign for Birmingham. Honestly, he’s either got the best agent in the world or the worst. I still can’t tell if he’s a 1-season wonder who’s managed to sustain a profitable career out of a single season; or if he’s habitually mismanaged his transfer decisions (disrupted his rhythm at Arsenal when he tried to overreach by going to Barca only to ride the bench, then aiming way too low by going to the Brummies).
…..Now the English FA is saying it’s unlikely Mikel Arteta will be allowed to represent England. Is there a more constantly overlooked and passed up player in world football? He’s like the Job of the Premiership.
…..Where the hell were all the impulse World Cup buys? Seriously! Ozil and Khedira are the only two that come close, and they’re both excellent players. After the summer of overspending last year, I was really hoping for a £50 million Diouf lookalike.
…..”I am not Harry Potter.” -Jose Mourinho. Prove it, Jose.
…..My bet for the first player to get jaded by Man City is David Silva. Both Johnson and Milner seem to be preferred, and he’s got Wright-Phillips coming from behind. Balotelli will also eat his minutes. Did I mention he scored for World and European Champions Spain today? He’ll practically be sitting in the bargain bin at Walmart this January.
…..Lucas Leiva has finally joined the Twitter revolution. I almost feel bad for him– he has no idea the abuse that’s coming his way. His tweets are almost as vanilla as his sideways passing.
…..Adriano Galliani might be the biggest nutter running a top football club, but he’s done very well this summer. Getting Ibrahimovic and Robinho for dirt cheap, flogging Huntelaar and Kaladze, AND loaning Borriello to Roma where he’ll get good Serie A minutes? If Rafa isn’t sweating already (he definitely is), he should be.
…..Did anyone see the Raul Meireles deal happening beforehand? Or a better question– can you name a more hipster wannabe in sports? Dwight Howard when he puts on those faux glasses maybe?
…..Also, I didn’t see the Bebe to United deal either. Maybe that’s how transfers from Portugal go. Maybe Fergie thought he was buying this Bebe.
…..I’ve decided that Joe Hart might be the coolest cat in the Premiership. He’s making great saves now look routine, but even better is his mastery of the “no big deal” face immediately afterward. He’ll even play to the crowd with his ball control– might as well be wearing a Members Only jacket.
…..Zidane has returned to training with the France squad. First of all, AWESOME. But if he really wants to bring them back to glory not being a total joke, he needs to lace up his boots. In that picture he was passing to a childishly smiling Mexes– I’ve never seen anyone so happy to have all his national team rivals suspended. UPDATE: No longer smiling after losing 1-0 to Belarus. Everyone else is though.
…..If Squillaci does well for Arsenal, Wenger might have the best, cheapest, underrated trio of center backs money can buy. Koscielny, Squillaci, and Vermaelen were all purchased within the last 14 months for a combined £21 million. That’s only like 2/3 of one Rio Ferdinand, to put it in perspective. Impressive dealing by the Frenchman, almost as smooth as this.
…..So if Man City are the new Chelsea, I think it’s safe to say that Barca are the new Real Madrid. Essentially, everyone and their mothers wants to see Jose humble the Catalans this season. Better yet, how about Atletico on the diesel so soon? Winning a Supercup over Inter then immediately thrashing a team 4-0 in your La Liga opener is the sort of thing a true contender does– just sayin.’
…..England smashed Bulgaria 4-0 today in a EURO12 qualifier, but the real loser was Spurs. Dawson obliterated his knee and Defoe soured his hat-trick by picking up some obscure knock. Also, Rooney started to show signs of having a pulse with some delightful assists.
…..Elsewhere: Klose refuses to stop scoring for Germany, Altintop nailed a belter for the Turks, Cassano showed why Lippi’s stubbornness cost Italy a World Cup, Huntelaar did the only thing he’s good at with a hat-trick against tiny San Marino, Olic and Petric remain like peanut butter and jam for Croatia, Portugal and Cyprus played the most thrilling game nobody even watched, Torres remembered how fun it is to score multiple goals, and the two newest signings for Newcastle and Birmingham score for their countries (when’s the next time you think you’ll hear those words?).
…..Young players I’m watching closely in the Premiership this year: Moussa Dembele, Andy Carroll, Mario Balotelli, Javier Hernandez, Pablo Barerra, the Jacks (Rodwell and Wilshere), Asamoah Gyan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jean Beausejour (young-ish), Ryan Babel, Adam Johnson, Victor Obinna, and Jermaine Beckford (young-ish).
…..Now let’s all take a look at Tottenham’s newest signing: Rafa Van der Vaart. (When Mario Gomez outpaces you, you know you’ve got molasses legs).Tags: Abbreviated Thoughts