Boxing Day Bonanza - AFR Voice Ep. 20
In England, the day after Christmas means only two things – one, gulping down the remainder of the Christmas turkey and two, watching a phenomenal amount of football.
Each side in the top tier played on the 26th December, and we’ve picked out the major points for debate – including the continuation of Newcastle’s astonishing hot-streak, a potentially season-defining win for Manchester City and the welcome return of Darren Fletcher at Manchester United.
After we made our way out of that dizzying coma of food and goals, we took a far more global approach – analysing The Guardian’s list of the top 100 players in the world and doffing our caps to Bayern Munich who won the Club World Cup in Morocco. But what about the tournament itself – is it simply a vacuous money-spinner for FIFA, or is it a credible title that deserves more respect?
The Long Road to Premier League Relapse
Have you ever taken a break with your girlfriend only to get back together? The process begins with a conversation, generally in a neutral location; let’s say a coffee shop
, maybe Kayak’s Coffeeshop in Saint Louis, MO. You discuss all the things wrong with your relationship and why you should see other people. One party pleads, begs, and cries to let it go on a little longer, “one more week…this can work,” but there’s no hope. You’re both released back into the sea from whence you came like baby sea turtles: to return home if fate commands it.
Now you’re back on the open market dating Brazilians and Russians, hitting on 19 and 21 year olds, and having some “friendly” hook-ups. These encounters are alright, but something feels a bit off. The chemistry isn’t there, there’s no attachment, and the thrill is gone. A rebound sounded nice, but it just made you realize how much you missed your girlfriend and the familiarity that comes with knowledge of the intricacies of each other’s lives.
Right, that’s kind of what my summer was like. And how I missed you Premier League. It’s like old times again: Wayne Rooney wants out, Real Madrid are tapping someone up, and Arsenal have been linked to big name players that they are almost certainly not going to sign (David Moyes, feeling jealous, is doing his best impersonation). But not everything is the same. There’s some new furniture your apartment, your wine cellars been emptied, and everything seems a bit more Welsh.
The Summer of No One Gets What They Want
By Nicol Hay
Europe is enjoying a heat wave, the Confederations Cup was the greatest summer tournament since records began, and every club is spending money like Kanye in Mothercare. So why is the major theme of this transfer window one of crushing disappointment?
All winter long, football fans yearn for the irritating formality of men kicking balls around pitches to get itself over with so the real business of paper talk, In The Know intrigue and opinion pieces on the inevitable economic collapse of football if something isn’t done about these bloated transfer fees can begin. All those boring Saturday afternoons spent wistfully staring past your inept right back’s attempts to play a pass and remember which colour his teammates are wearing at the same time are just counting down to the moment when the June-August bonanza drops a steaming dose of moneyed potential into your life.
And this summer, it’s been all for naught. Every major club made their careful plans, only to see them dashed.
Man City is scattered around New York City
For the club’s trip to the States (and the announcement of NYC FC), 85 Man City-themed posters designed by Luke Barclay were just put up across Manhattan and Brooklyn. A few have already been found, but the real kicker in this is that tweeting posters that are found to @KICKTV is the ticket to two seats at Yankee Stadium for Man City-Chelsea this Saturday.
State Of The Game - AFR Voice Ep9
With the start of the New Year comes a brand new audio offering from AFR Voice, packed with all of the news and views from a frantic festive period of Premier League fixtures that seemed to have more games than a Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final.
We’ll be taking a look at the best and worst from the Christmas run of games, including Baywatch at the Etihad Stadium, politics at Stamford Bridge, Wizards at Loftus Road, as well as looking into why 2013 could be a bad year for fax machines, Marouane Fellaini’s lady problems, and a heart warming canine-based tale from the Bundesliga.
Then it’s time to get serious and give the Premier League its annual check up when we discuss what direction it’s going in, who look like being the winners and losers, and just when will the financial bubble burst?
And an early January show wouldn’t be complete without signing off 2012 with our highlights of what has been another (mostly) superb year of football, of which there are almost too many moments to choose from. And with that, roll on 2013….
Through Ryu’s Lens: City disappointment, Chelsea delight
This week’s Champions League action may have temporarily taken a back seat for some due to the battle between FC Romney and Obama United, but the drama wasn’t in short support in politics or football. Ajax (and their thousands of travelling fans) left Mancini enraged and Balotelli disappointed, as Manchester City’s Champions League dream awakened to a rude reality. Chelsea continued to play with an unprecedented level of entertainment at Stamford Bridge, barely edging out Shakhtar Donetsk. Ryu Voelkel made the trip from Berlin to Manchester to London to take it all in.
By Thomas Ang
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late goal to complete Real Madrid’s comeback for a win over Manchester City on Tuesday. There is no doubt about the importance of the goal, but in its wake there have been questions about how the ball managed to find its way past Kompany and Hart. Was it Kompany’s fault for ducking? Was it Hart’s fault for failing to save a shot that came so close to him? Was Cristiano lucky? Kompany’s response to the questions has been that the striker deserves full credit for the goal.
GIF of Cristiano’s goal in question, generously supplied by Josh Anderson
I’m not the biggest Cristiano fan (still won’t refer to him by only his last name), but the science suggests Kompany is correct. Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot changed its spin in mid-flight to produce a downward dip greater than possible through gravity alone. The shot should have been impossible to execute, and therefore nothing could have prepared either the defender or keeper for the sublime shot.
Our favourite findings from our friends across the world of football this week…
It’s okay kid, I’d be scared if I was in your position too. [Kickette]
Football is becoming more and more a part of Israeli lifestyle [Pitch Invasion]
A four goal comeback? You’ve been one-upped, Liverpool. [Third Kit]
Maradona was in Moscow, where he raised $500,000. He could probably use that to pay off his debts actually. [Dirty Tackle]
Samuel L. Jackson is going to get those snakes off of Liverpool’s plane. [Pies]
Why on earth are Lucas and Anderson so highly regarded? [In the Stands]
The Jabulani goes pink in support of breast cancer! [Off The Post]
Jordan stopped Al-Jazeera’s World Cup broadcast. Well done? [The Original Winger]
Fabregas will miss the match against Chelsea this weekend. [Never Captain Nicky Butt]
Sébastien Le Toux: MLS’ Unsung Hero? [TwoFootedTackle]
John Terry believes Man City can win the Premier League. John, don’t upset the only people who still like you [The Guardian]
Juergen Klinsmann and Sunil Gulati need to stop flirting [Yanks Are Coming]