|photo by Andrew Mason||via PhotoRee|
o I'm getting sick of the Wesley Sneijder / Samir Nasri / Luka Modric transfer saga. It's been dragging on forever and a day, and I can't take much more "will he" or "won't he" speculation. It does look as if Old Wes is going to end up at Old Trafford, but please let's get it over with so we can all just move on. It's also looking likely that Luka is headed to Stamford Bridge, and my best current guess is that Samir stays put at the Emirates.
o I write above that I still believe Sneijder is headed to Manchester because I can't help but believe that Fergie still has not completed his summer shopping spree yet. After all, if you're Fergie -- and I obviously don't presume to be, but I will presume to make some educated guesses here -- you're probably thinking you've got 3-5 years left in the hot seat. And that's not alot of time to knock Barcelona off their fricking perch. So you'd better get busy now, and no amount of words are ever going to convince me or anyone else that Ando is the permanent answer in midfield. He may be part of the equation, but he's not the answer.
o Darren Fletcher's situation is a little bit worrisome. Fletch was declared healthy toward the end of last season, and stated that he felt fine, but he's obviously had some sort of relapse from whatever ails him. I hope he and the United medical staff figure it out soon -- and not for the team's benefit, but for Fletch's!
o I can't wait for the US Womens' World Cup final game later this afternoon. The courage this team has shown throughout the tournament is inspiring. They have the same type of never say die attitude about them as a certain team that plays at Old Trafford regularly displays, and they've had some thrilling games of late. I'm fairly certain most neutrals around the world will be pulling for the Japanese team due to the natural tragedies that have struck that nation over the past several months, but this writer for one will be a proud American on Sunday. After all, we can win the FIFA Womens' World Cup for the third time in 20 years, and that ain't all bad.
o Watching the women play is a stark reminder of how deeply the mens' game has fallen into disrepair. The womens' games have featured a minimum of players charging the referee to dispute every call, and only a cynical foul or two come to mind. Also, one of the reasons Diana's playacting for Brazil was so loudly criticized -- apart from the fact that it lost them the game -- was how much it stood out from the prevailing sentiment of the action: athletes who are none-too-famous or over-paid, and who are playing for the pure love of sport and competition.
o Watching the FIFA Womens' World Cup is almost like watching the less glamorous Olympic sports: think less ice skating and tennis, and more weightlifting and rowing. These women aren't -- apart from maybe Abby Wambach and Hope Solo -- athletes who will be going onto big paydays as announcers or endorsers. These women are our sisters and daughters, and they've done themselves proud no matter how this afternoon's game turns out.
This is farlieonfootie for July 17.