Tuesday, March 22, 2005

English Update

So the Premiership is on hiatus for the World Cup qualifiers over the next two weeks (and I like the US to force a draw Sunday, but they ain't winning in Azteca). Now's as good a time as any to actually discuss what's been going on instead of just making shitty picks.

Chelsea are running away with the league, and Man U bias is preventing folks from saying so. Seriously. They're kicking serious ass. Cech has been a wall and the defense is seriously good. The midfield and attack are pretty great too. But the key to me is Mourinho. Brash, cocky, kind of a dick, and unafraid to actually use the media to get an advantage. There isn't a comparable American coaching today. Over here, the coaches are so freaking boring. Mourinho isn't and I love it. And I think the players soak it up. Chelsea are habitual underachievers, but not this year. The Barcelona tie showed it all. The personality, the wild scoring, the controversies all made for (gasp!) entertaining sport. And unfortunately, there's been too little of that this season.

Man U and Arsenal ought put their eggs in the FA cup basket. If they meet in the final, it'll be pretty awesome. It won't surprise me if Newcastle make the final though. They've been playing very well lately.

Everton has had a great season, playing way above their heads. Good for them and all. Liverpool have been a disappointment so far. I'll predict Liverpool pass Everton and the entire city won't know whether to be pissed or happy.

I kind of hope either Bolton or Charlton make a run for Europe. Diouf, however, I am not a fan of. Charlton should be kind of embarrassed from last weekend.

Norwich are heading down. Saints will stay up.

In the Championship, Sunderland and Wigan are coming up, and for some reason I think Sheffield United are getting through the playoffs, if they get in. If not, Preston. Rotherham and Forest are heading down. Weird to me that Coventry looks so bad. They need to get that stadium built.

Division One: Luton, Hull and Wednesday are coming up. I'm pulling for Wrexham to avoid the drop, mostly because it shouldn't be the players fault the team ain't run for shit (though I understand the idea of docking them points and all...).

Division Two: Yeovil, Scunthorpe, Macclesfield and Darlington coming up. Try rowing, Cambridge.

The other major story is the European Trophies. The Liverpool - Juventus tie isn't good for the image of soccer. Especially considering the rash of arrests after the Liverpool Derby last weekend, they ought get their act together. Chelsea - Bayern is a pretty good matchup, but I have a feeling that neither team are winning the cup. It's an Italian year. In the Uefa Cup, I've got a good feeling about Newcastle, though they pulled probably the toughest draw this round. Sporting might be the best team left in the competition. The winner of that tie should go on to win it all.

If you want links for any of this, look to the right column.